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Childhood Abuse Bill – call for evidence 13/12/2016 The three-year time limit that prevents childhood abuse survivors from seeking civil damages in court is the focus of a call for evidence.

Childhood Abuse Bill – call for evidence

The three-year time limit that prevents childhood abuse survivors from seeking civil damages in court is the focus of a call for evidence issued late last month by MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee.

The evidence received will inform the Committee’s scrutiny of the Limitations (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill. The legislation proposes removing the current three-year time bar, which limits the period an individual has to bring forward a civil personal injury damages claim in cases of childhood abuse.

The Justice Committee is hoping to hear from a wide range of people and stakeholder organisations. These include abuse survivors and their representative bodies, care providers and legal experts.

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

In particular, the committee is looking to hear:

  • If there is a consensus with the idea of removing the time bar;
  • The expected impact on survivors of childhood abuse, those who might be involved in defending civil actions, and the courts;
  • Whether people agree with the Government’s definitions of “child” and “abuse”;
  • Views on the proposed ability to raise claims that were previously time-barred.

The call for evidence closes on Wednesday 11th January 2017.

The Bill can be found here and the call for evidence is here.

 

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