Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry and Limitation Bill – an update



Abuse News

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry and Limitation Bill – an update

As we reported on this blog on 28 July 2016,
Lady Smith, a Scottish Judge since 2001 and, from 2011, a Scottish
Appeal Court Judge, is the new Chair of the Scottish Child Abuse
Inquiry. Unlike the English and Welsh Inquiry, the present remit of the
Scottish Inquiry excludes non-State institutions. Hence, for instance,
those alleging abuse in religious settings in the community, in contrast
to State-provided care institutions, are not covered at present by the
Scottish Inquiry.

Pressure
is, though, building to extend the Scottish Inquiry’s scope. Alan
Draper, spokesman for In Care Abuse Survivors (Incas) was reported, in
the 31 August 2016 Herald newspaper, as saying that “we put forward (to
the Deputy First Minister of Scotland, John Swinney) a powerful argument
about extending (the scope of the Scottish Inquiry).” He adds, though,
that he is “not hopeful”.

Mr Swinney described his recent meetings with survivors and their representatives as “constructive”.

Separate
from the Scottish Inquiry, Mr Draper also mentioned that “victims of
abuse (are) waiting to see if legislative plans will include changes to
the law to remove a statutory time limitation which prevents many of
them from seeking legal redress.” We have previously reported on the
draft Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill. That has yet to be
introduced at the Scottish Parliament but the MSP’s return to there from
their summer recess on Monday 5 September 2016. We will keep a very
close eye on any developments and will be sure to update this blog
accordingly. Please, therefore, “watch this space”.


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Siobhan Kelly, partner

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