News In Focus
Childhood abuse limitation rule lifted from today
The three year time bar for actions in respect of personal injuries in Scotland has been removed from today (4 October) for claims relating to childhood abuse.
An order has been made bringing into force the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Act 2017, under which cases arising from childhood abuse on or after 26 September 1964 will no longer be subject to a plea of time bar.
The Act extends to claims arising from neglect, as well as physical abuse. It also enables cases previously raised but unsuccessful due to time bar to be relitigated, whether they were determined by the court or settled by both parties without damages being paid, subject to appropriate safeguards where this would be incompatible with the defender's rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Minister for Community Safety & Legal Affairs Annabelle Ewing, who took the legislation through the Parliament, commented: “This legal milestone would not have happened but for the courage of many adult survivors whose persistence and dedication have shone a light on the dark realities of child abuse. Through their brave testimonies they have made clear the great hurt and damage caused by the very individuals and institutions who should have cared for them.
“Alongside our national survivor support fund, the establishment of the independent public Inquiry into in-care childhood abuse, and the current consultation on a potential financial redress scheme, this removal of the civil time-bar underlines the Government’s commitment to ensuring Scotland is beginning to make amends for the grave failings of the past.”