Scottish update: Abuse Limitation Abolition Bill – parliamentary call for evidence

As we reported on this blog on 17 November 2016, a Bill to abolish the three year limitation rule in childhood abuse claims has been introduced to the Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee has now called for evidence by 11 January 2017 on the following:

  • whether there is consensus on the idea of removing the time bar;
  • the expected impact on survivors, defenders, and the courts;
  • whether there is agreement on the Government’s proposed definitions of ‘child’ and ‘abuse’; and
  • the proposal to allow previously litigated claims, which were unsuccessful in damages on account of time bar, to be re-raised.

The Justice Committee’s Convener, Margaret Mitchell MSP. said: “This Bill is undoubtedly a very sensitive piece of legislation which the Committee will scrutinise to assess the impact on the people who it might affect. While the Justice Committee is supportive of access to justice, we need to be certain these proposals are fit for purpose. We want to understand the practicalities and to hear different perspectives on these proposals, so we hope we will get pertinent submissions and testimonies”.

A link to the Justice Committee’s call for evidence is provided here: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/102380.aspx

In a separate development, Police Scotland has confirmed its officers have received reports of non recent child abuse within football. A UK-wide hotline has dealt with more than 250 reports in just one week since it was launched. A senior Scottish officer confirmed that the force is working with others, including the SFA. A “co-ordinated police response” is being sought to “maintain an accurate picture of child abuse investigations”.


Written by Frank Hughes, partner and Siobhan Kelly, partner

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