Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI): an update

Overview of present position

SCAI’s work, which started in October 2015, continues. SCAI is to report, with recommendations, to Scottish Ministers as soon as reasonably practicable after October 2019.

SCAI’s overall aim is to raise public awareness of the abuse of children in care (under 18) for the period “within living memory” of any person who suffered such abuse no later than 17 December 2014.

To date, SCAI has heard evidence in public during three phases. One set of findings relating to one part of one of the phases has been published. Further findings are anticipated shortly. Various expert reports have been commissioned and published.

The cost of SCAI to end 2018 was £19,737,688. Expenditure is published quarterly.

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Scottish update

On 9 March 2018, the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill, which we covered in our 12 February 2018 blog, became an Act of the Scottish Parliament upon the grant of Royal Assent. Its provisions will be brought into force at a later date by Scottish ministerial regulations. Continue reading

Scottish Limitation Abolition Bill and Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry Update

The Scottish Parliament has confirmed that it will debate the Limitation Abolition Bill, at Stage 1, in the afternoon of Thursday 27 April.

In other news, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, whose cost from its set-up on 1 October 2015 to 31 March 2017 has recently been confirmed at over £5.7m, has now set the timetable for Phase 1 of its Public Hearings. Commencing on 31 May there are evidence sessions scheduled to 9 June covering: Continue reading

Scottish Limitation Abolition Bill

The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee has endorsed the general principles of the Bill proposing the retrospective abolition of limitation in cases of childhood abuse. Nonetheless, significant issues of detail and relevant concerns have been flagged in the Committee’s Stage 1 Report. This is now for further consideration by the Scottish Government. We summarise the position taken by the Committee on pre-26 September 1964 abuse then list the issues which have been flagged for further attention. Continue reading

Scottish Child Abuse: Inquiry, Limitation, Prescription and Redress Update

As we reported on this blog on 1 September 2016, the original remit of the Scottish Inquiry excludes non-State institutions. We mentioned, in that blog, that pressure was building for the scope of the Inquiry’s remit to be extended.

Today, in the Scottish Parliament, a Ministerial Statement has been made by way of an “Update on issues relating to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry”. That Statement can be considered in four parts:

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Lessons from reports

As the Henriques report in to the Metropolitan Police and Operation Midland is due for publication later today (or at least its recommendations and conclusions are) it highlights the challenges which arise when a report has been prepared. What should be published? When should it be published? Most crucially how should its recommendations be implemented? Lessons can be learned from Scotland and Australia about the importance of ensuring speedy and clear implementation of recommendations.

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Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry update

In the Scottish Parliament today, the Scottish Government Education Minister, John Swinney reported he is “considering” extending the remit of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. On the one hand, he acknowledged, after recently consulting survivor’s groups, their objections to the narrowness of the remit of the Inquiry in Scotland, as relating to children in care. On the other hand, he explained he has sought to balance that against delay if the remit is widened, and the interests of survivors affected by such delay. Even with its current remit the inquiry is currently scheduled to last another three years. The Inquiry has commissioned research and has commenced the process of gathering information and documents. The Inquiry has already gathered numerous accounts of abuse through private sessions taking place throughout the UK.

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