IICSA investigations update

As the IICSA calls for core participants in the investigation involving Nottinghamshire Councils, we summarise recent and forthcoming developments in relation to IICSA investigations. For information summarising the scope of all the various investigations please refer to our previous blog of 3 January 2017 by clicking here.

Children in the Care of Nottinghamshire Councils –

  • The Inquiry has requested individuals and organisations submit their applications for Core Participant status by 21 April 2017. Guidance for submitting applications has been provided by IICSA on its website. Applicants seeking Core Participant status after the deadline will need to explain why their application has been submitted out of time.
  • A preliminary hearing will be held on 11 May 2017 at 10.30am at the International Dispute Resolution Centre in London.

Accountability and Reparations –

  • The part 1 oral hearing for the Child Migration Programmes case study, forming one of the strands of this investigation, has been held. Part 1 focused on evidence given by a number of former child migrant witnesses and the Inquiry’s appointed experts.
  • A further preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 May 2017.
  • The part 2 oral hearing, commencing on 10 July 2017, will focus on evidence from organisations previously involved in child migration and further evidence from the Inquiry’s experts.

Children in Custodial Institutions –

  • The Inquiry’s Research Project held in January 2017 sought material (due for disclosure by 17 February 2017) for a review of the existing academic and grey literature (including policy and practice documents) relating to the incidence of child sexual abuse in the young people’s secure estate and the institutional response process to such allegations. The findings will determine this investigation as well as policy and practice recommendations to be made by the Inquiry.
  • IICSA has provided details about the areas they are exploring within this investigation. These are:
    • Evidence related to prevalence of child sexual abuse in the young people’s secure estate;
    • Particular aspects of socio-demographic characteristics, both of victims and perpetrators;
    • The factors associated with failure to protect or act to protect children in the care of institutions in the youth secure estate;
    • The nature of the safeguarding systems in place in secure institutions for children and young people, and how they have changed over the years;
    • Recommendations as to how those systems may be improved to better protect children and young people in secure care from sexual abuse.

Investigation into the Institutional Responses to Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC –

  • On 31 January 2017, following an application from Daniel Janner QC, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner and Marion Janner OBE for Core Participant status which was granted to them by the Chair – Professor Alexis Jay OBE, on behalf of their late father’s estate.
  • 11 April 2017 – the Inquiry published a Notice of Determination and revised the definition of scope in relation to this investigation. In light of the submissions received, the Chair has decided not to hold a preliminary hearing for oral submissions. The Inquiry will investigate institutional responses to allegations of child sexual abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC, considering:
    • The adequacy and propriety of law enforcement investigations and prosecutorial decisions;
    •  The extent to which Leicestershire County Council and the Kirkwood Inquiry were aware of allegations falling and the adequacy of their response;
    • The extent to which the Labour Party, Parliament, government departments, and/or the security and intelligence agencies were aware of allegations and the adequacy of their response;
    • The extent to which any other public or private institution may have failed in its duty to protect children from sexual abuse;
    • Whether any attempts were made to exert improper influence in order to hinder or prevent an institution from effectively investigating or otherwise responding to allegations.

Following consideration of the factors above, the Inquiry will publish a report setting out their findings and recommendations to improve child protection and safeguarding in England and Wales.

  • Correspondence between panel member, Drusilla Sharpling CBE and the Home Secretary has been provided on IICSA website, following submissions made by the Janner family that Ms Sharpling should recuse herself from the investigation. Ms Sharpling wrote to the Home Secretary providing further details about her professional career and acquaintances that may be relevant to her position on the Panel, in particular her previous connections with the CPS, the Lord Janner case and one of the Core Participants in the Lord Janner investigation strand. In her response the Home Secretary clearly states that she is satisfied the information provided will not affect Ms Sharpling’s impartiality on the panel.

The Inquiry is not currently accepting Core Participant applications or requesting evidence for the following investigations:

  • The internet;
  • Child sexual abuse in residential schools;
  • Allegations of child sexual abuse linked to westminster

There are no further updates in relation to the other investigations.


mwr

Written by Miriam Rahamim, solicitor at BLM

Sexual abuse overseas and limitation

As the IICSA confirms the initial hearing dates for the first public hearings which form part of the investigation in to the Protection of Children Outside of the UK, the High Court has handed down a judgment which is linked to this issue as it addresses limitation when abuse has occurred overseas.

In the case of KXL and others[1] the High Court rejected the claims and the claimants’ contentions that the Foreign Limitation Provisions Act 1984 (FLPA) conflicts with public policy and/or causes undue hardship to claimants because there is no discretionary power to extend the time limit in a historical abuse claim.

Continue reading

Accountability & Reparation investigation seminars

Today the first seminars held by the IICSA begin with consideration over two days in eight sessions of issues relating to the civil justice system. These seminars will be live streamed.

Earlier this year the IICSA published a paper asking a series of questions about the civil justice system. It received 29 responses. It has now invited representatives from some key stakeholder groups to discuss some of the issues raised.‎ This is the first engagement with key groups and will be followed by further seminars including with victims and survivors in 2017.

A summary of the themes raised by those who responded has been published along with all of the submissions.‎ The first meeting is at 10am and is an open discussion with claimant stakeholders on access to justice for victims and survivors. Thereafter there are further open discussions as follows:

11.30 – Defendant stakeholders on civil litigation

13.30 – Limitation

14.55 – Civil litigation

Day 2

10.00 – Compensation

11.30 – Other types of accountability and reparation

13.30 – Possible reforms

15.10 – Redress

The invited stakeholders include representatives from insurer‎s, and claimant and defendant solicitors who regularly act in this area.


jefferson_p-16-web_v2

Written by Paula Jefferson, partner

Accountability & Reparations Issues Papers – a reminder

The A&R investigation has published two Issues Papers for which responses are due by noon on 29 September.

These papers cover the civil justice system and criminal compensation. They are open for all to complete and the questions asked are wide ranging. The responses will be analysed and some contributors invited to seminars to explore the general themes identified.

These are an opportunity for anyone or any organisation to consider the current systems, what works well and what does not and to make recommendations for change.

The papers are available at https://www.iicsa.org.uk/news/inquiry-seeks-views-criminal-compensation-and-civil-justice-system


jefferson_p-16-web_v2

Paula Jefferson, Partner

Macur Report

Yesterday the Macur report was published. It was commissioned in autumn 2012 to review the Inquiry conducted from 1996-2000 by Sir Ronald Waterhouse in to child abuse of children in care in the former county councils of Gwynedd and Clwyd from 1974 onwards. In 2012, with many allegations of abuse by high profile individuals including Jimmy Saville, concerns also arose that the Waterhouse investigation and report (entitled Lost in Care) had failed to discover, or had concealed the involvement, of celebrities and establishment figures. Continue reading