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

Restrictions of rights for Scottish abuse survivors “unfair and unjust”

10 Mar 2021
APIL news

Abuse survivors in Scotland must not be forced to sacrifice their legal rights to protect the very organisations which allowed abuse to take place in the past, lawyers said today.


Kim Leslie, spokeswoman for the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and partner at Digby Brown was commenting ahead of debate about the Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill in the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (Thursday).


"As it stands, survivors of abuse who seek redress through the new scheme will have to waive their legal right to compensation afterwards," said Ms Leslie. “This, apparently, is to give the organisations where abuse has taken place an incentive to fund the new scheme.


“But many survivors will not be aware until it is too late that the new redress scheme, while well-intended, will not always necessarily be their best option of receiving the compensation they need to help rebuild their shattered lives.


"Childhood abuse can have a lifelong effect, with some survivors finding themselves unable to maintain relationships, or hold down jobs because of the trauma they suffered,” she said.


"Even the maximum £100,000 payment available under the scheme may be nowhere near the appropriate amount of compensation for some survivors. You cannot heal from childhood trauma of this nature in the same way as if you’d broken a wrist or ankle. Finding the courage to seek redress in the first place is difficult enough. To then find you are expected to sign away your legal rights is unfair and unjust."


Notes to editors:

  • The Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill will be debated at Stage 3 in Scottish Parliament on Thursday 11 March. Read APIL's briefing ahead of the debate here: https://www.apil.org.uk/files/online-files/451-447800/APILstage3briefingRedressBill.pdf
  • The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) is a not-for-profit campaign group which has been committed to injured people for more than 30 years. Our vision is of a society without needless injury but, when people are injured, they receive the justice they need to rebuild their lives.  We have more than 3,200 members who are committed to supporting the association’s aims, and all are signed up to APIL’s code of conduct and consumer charter.  Membership comprises mostly solicitors, along with barristers, legal executives, paralegals and some academics.
  • For more information contact APIL's communications manager Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, e: [email protected],
  • Follow @APIL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/APIL.

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