Abuse redress scheme could let organisations off the hook

The redress scheme for survivors of historical child abuse risks letting organisations where abuse took place off the hook, Scottish Greens Justice Spokesperson John Finnie MSP has said.

Speaking in response to a parliamentary statement from the Education Secretary this afternoon, Mr Finnie noted that the scheme would likely afford survivors, who would be forced to give up their right to pursue a civil claim,  substantially lower sums than they may otherwise receive if they took an organisation to court.

John Finnie MSP said:

“I’ve heard from upset and concerned survivors that the redress scheme as proposed by the Scottish Government risks letting organisations where abuse took place off the hook.

“The payments proposed as part of the redress scheme are substantially lower than survivors could receive if they pursued a civil claim in the courts, yet they would be barred from pursuing such a claim if they signed up to the scheme.

“I don’t doubt the Scottish Government’s good intentions in introducing the Bill, but it is vital that the payments do not simply act as a shield for organisations to avoid paying out larger sums of compensation. Scottish Greens will work constructively to ensure a fairer system of redress emerges as this Bill progresses through parliament.”