The Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Scotland Act 2017 retrospectively abolished the three year ‘time bar’ rule for personal injury claims arising from childhood abuse in Scotland but retained defences in the Act on ‘fair hearing’ and on ‘substantial prejudice’.
The Scottish Government has announced its intention to bring the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Act 2017 into force in October 2017.
The Abolition Bill became an Act of the Scottish Parliament on the grant of Royal Assent on 28 July 2017 but regulations by Scottish Ministers are needed to bring its provisions into force.
Once implemented, the Act will retrospectively abolish limitation in claims for personal injury, whether physical or psychological or both, caused by childhood abuse.
On account of a quirk of the Scots Law on Prescription, the Act will only be of relevance to abuse which took place on or after 26 September 1964.
Frank Hughes and Siobhan Kelly, Partners, BLM Glasgow
On 28 July 2017, the Bill to retrospectively abolish limitation in cases of childhood abuse received Royal Assent. The Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Act 2017 is now, therefore, on the statute book.
The grant of Royal Assent does not, though, bring the provisions of the Act into force. Subsequent regulations by Scottish Ministers will do that. Present indications suggest that those may be produced this Autumn.
Written by Frank Hughes and Siobhan Kelly, partners at BLM