The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) began its journey in March of 2015. On Thursday of this week, the long-awaited final report is released. I have been invited to attend the publication of the report and will be allowed to preview its findings before the report is officially published at 12 noon on Thursday.
The Inquiry, chaired by Professor Alexis Jay OBE, was set up because of serious concerns that some organisations had failed and were continuing to fail to protect children from sexual abuse.
The Inquiry has covered a huge area of work. Farleys have been involved throughout, drawing on our years of expertise in working in this specialised area of the law. The Inquiry has held 325 days of public hearings and has heard from 725 witnesses, including 94 survivors of abuse. Approximately 195,000 pages of documents have been disclosed comprising 2.5 million individual pages of evidence.
Farleys’ initial involvement was in February of 2016 when I was invited to address the forum considering CICA claims and between 2018 – 2019, our team represented a core participant in the Inquiry into children in the care of the Nottinghamshire Councils.
On 26th November 2019, I was again in front of the Inquiry Panel as part of the accountability and reparations investigation, discussing how claims were pursued on behalf of victims and considering various aspects of the legal process, including the availability of Legal Aid and the impact of limitation on these claims.
The publication of the report on Thursday of this week represents the culmination of 7 years’ hard work by the Inquiry. Many legal professionals and abuse survivors have assisted the panel in grasping the many issues that impact victims of sexual abuse. We therefore await the Inquiry’s findings and recommendations with interest, and the extent to which the Government will accept these and enshrine them in legislation. I suspect that areas that may be addressed include: –
The possibility of a new statutory scheme to either run alongside the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme or to replace the scheme for victims of child sexual abuse.
Limitation – there have already been significant changes in Scotland in relation to historic abuse and the ability to bring a claim “out of time”. I suspect that recommendations may be put forward to change the law on limitation for victims of historic sexual abuse.
The main aim of the Inquiry is stated as “helping protect children from sexual abuse now and in the future”. It remains to be seen how effective the Inquiry will have been in achieving this goal and what recommendations are to be proposed within the forthcoming report that will achieve this goal.
We will aim to update you when the recommendations have been published.
Farleys has a team of highly experienced abuse claims specialists who are on hand to discuss your circumstances with the sensitivity and confidentiality required in such cases. To speak to a member of the team today in confidence, please call our dedicated abuse line on 0330 134 6430, contact us by email, or use the online chat below.