The move to lift the time-bar which has stopped thousands of victims of historic abuse should be welcomed and whilst the Scottish Government has published plans to do so I would urge them to put such legislation into effect as soon as possible. Cases such as these are distinctly different from others where a three-year limit applies as the effects of abuse upon the person can often take years to manifest themselves.
It will take incredible bravery for the survivors of such abuse to come forward and seek justice but they should be encouraged to do just that. Given what they may have been subjected to they should be given the necessary time and support from our legal system to pursue civil action.
Many people have been denied justice due to the present rules and these changes should also allow for claims that were rejected in the past to be pursued retrospectively. These people have been let down by the legal system and the organisations that were supposed to protect them. I disagree with the committee’s comments that the financial impact on these organisations should be a factor in the implementation of any legislation. There should be nowhere to hide for individuals or organisations who have either perpetrated or facilitated abuse.
Scotland should show that it takes a zero-tolerance approach to such abuse.