Saturday 12 November 2011

Move to end time bar for abuse victims

The Herald reports that Scots lawyers have called for a change in legislation north of the Border to make it easier for abuse victims to claim compensation. The move comes after an English High Court ruling opened the door to people who suffered at the hands of priests to sue the wider Catholic Church as vicariously liable in tort (delict in Scotland) and not just the individual.

While the ruling in England is not binding in Scotland, human rights lawyers Mike Dailly, of Govan Law Centre, and John Scott, of Capital Defence Lawyers, say it is a significant step that would offer a “persuasive” precedent in the argument if such cases are now raised in Scotland.

Currently actions relating to personal injuries have to be brought within three years, or in the case of children within three years of turning 16, unless certain exceptions apply or the claimant can persuade the court that it would be equitable to disapply the time bar. A Scottish Parliamentary committee will shortly examine a Scottish Government proposal to extend the time bar to five years, but campaigners say this does not go far enough.

GLC's Mike Dailly said: “Very often the nature of sexual abuse is such that many vulnerable people cannot even speak of it until after the time bar has elapsed. The Scottish Government has so far refused to change the law here, but it cannot be right that a victim of sexual abuse in Scotland should be denied access to justice due to a technical time bar rule – justice demands change here.”


No comments:

Post a Comment