A not-for-profit organisation
committed to injured people
A not-for-profit organisation
committed to injured people

New Government urged to implement IICSA recommendation immediately

09 Jul 2024
APIL news

APIL has told the new Government it must abolish the time limit in child sexual abuse claims without further delay.


The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) consulted on options for reform of the law on limitation for civil claims despite a recommendation from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) nearly two years ago. The IICSA made it clear that the three-year time limit for abuse survivors to pursue a claim for damages should be scrapped.


“The inquiry was impartial and spent seven years hearing evidence, including thousands of harrowing accounts from survivors of abuse. The recommendation to lift the three-year time bar was very clear. This consultation has been yet another unnecessary and tortuous delay,” said Kim Harrison, president of APIL (the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers).


“Survivors have waited long enough for change. We urge the new Government to get on and implement the IICSA’s recommendation. Do not kick this issue down the road for any longer,” said Kim, who specialises in civil compensation claims for victims and survivors of non-recent child sexual abuse public inquiry work, and represented survivors in the IICSA.


“Currently the law does allow discretion to disapply the three-year limit but for this to happen survivors must apply to the court, which causes new and needless anguish. The limitation time bar should be abolished in cases involving all forms of child abuse, including physical and emotional, as they are so often linked,” Kim added.


“Research shows the average time it takes for a survivor of sexual abuse to come forward is 24 to 27 years. This is due to many reasons including fear, shame and guilt over something that was in no way their fault. So, it’s totally reasonable in a fair and just society to ditch the unnecessary time limit in England and Wales, as they have already done in Scotland,” she said.


In its response to the MoJ consultation, APIL also said it agreed with IICSA that it should be for defendants to prove if a fair trial is not possible. As the law stands currently, survivors must make the case that the time which has elapsed is not a barrier to a fair trial.



Notes to editors:

  • The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers is a not-for-profit organisation, formed by claimant lawyers, which has campaigned for the rights of victims of negligence for more than 30 years. APIL’s vision is of a society without needless injury but, when people are injured, a society which offers the justice they need to rebuild their lives. Members include solicitors, barristers, legal executives and academics.
  • Any queries about this press release should be directed to APIL’s press and communications officer Julie Crouch on t: 07808 768623, e: [email protected] or communications manager Jane Hartwell on t: 07541 490 988 e: [email protected].
  • Follow @APIL on X: https://X.com/APIL and on LinkedIn
  • Kim Harrison is the APIL (the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) president for 2024-25, having joined the organisation as a newly qualified solicitor almost 20 years ago. Kim specialises in representing survivors of abuse and assault, against organisations including the Catholic and Anglican churches. She has represented football abuse survivors, including victims of coach Barry Bennell, and victims of publicist Max Clifford. Kim is a human rights specialist who acts for families at inquests and in associated Human Rights Act claims. She also specialises in public inquiry work, including representing clients at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). Kim represented a large number of families in the Manchester Bombing Inquiry and clinically vulnerable families at the Covid-19 Inquiry. She is recognised in the independent legal guide, the Legal 500.

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