Below are select legal items that may be of interest - links to many essential sources of information for Child Abuse Lawyers such as the North Wales Tribunal Enquiry, Practise Directions in Group Actions and the famous Home Office Report into False allegations refuting the Home Affairs Select Committee report.
This is the report of the North Wales Tribunal into child abuse in Childrens' Homes in North Wales. It is simplistic and readable. It contains a number of important findings which make it essential reading for any lawyer practising in this area
The Government's official response to the Waterhouse Report (Adobe Acrobat Reader required)
The first ever in Legal History. This was also highlighted in an article in the Law Society's Gazette
(Full Report) (or a Summary) To read the draft bill click here. Upon proposed reforms to the law of Limitation. ACAL put forward proposal that time limits for claims of sexual abuse be abolished to bring us in line with Canada and Southern Ireland. Somewhat controversially the limitation period remains but the rules upon what amounts to a disability which will suspend the limitation period are relaxed to allow survivors suffering from dissociative amnesia to bring themselves within the definition.
Relating to the publication of reports of local authority ad hoc inquiries. In a consultation paper published on 23 April 2002, the Law Commission considered whether the law relating to the publication of reports of local authority ad hoc inquiries needs to be changed largely in view of the North Wales debacle. The full report was published on 13th July 2004 together with a draft Bill. There are several recommendations all of which are designed to allow the publication of a Local Enquiry Report without the risk of an action in Defamation simply by extending the concept of Qualified Privelige to this type of situation.Limitation Proposals by Ministry of Justice - the Ministry of Justice has announced that they intend to introduce a new bill on Limitation in the Queens Speech November 2009. Before doing so they have sought final consultations from a number of bodies including the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers. Jonathan Wheeler of our Executive Committee has kindly drafted our formal response, which can be seen here in Word Format.
A project to review the law in relation to redress from public bodies for substandard administrative action. Their key objective in the project is to achieve the correct balance between fairness to aggrieved citizens and appropriate protections to public bodies and the public funds they use. The consultation paper asks a series of open questions about different aspects of their suggested reforms. Responses must be with the Law Commission by 7th November 2008.To read the ACAL response prepared by our Treasurer Jonathan Wheeler click here. A summary is available here. To see the full paper click here.
(The Law governing the operation of the Irish no fault compensation scheme) - now enacted. Also see this Press release which explains the operation of the scheme. For more details on the Redress scheme see the Irish Survivors site www.irishsurvivors.org.uk
All the articles 2002 and 2003, but 2004 will shortly be published apparently.
On Alleged False Allegations in Children's Homes or look at a summary on the Home Affairs Press Release
Into Alleged False Allegations in Children's Home Cases.
LSC Proposals (2009)
To limit scope of Civil Legal Aid to abuse survivors have been strongly opposed by ACAL in the attached response to their consultation paper - click here (Word file). Many of our objections have been accepted by the Ministry of Justic as can be seen by reading their response here
The LSC have issued a consultation paper about experts which talks about raising standards and restricting the choice of experts to those who pass certain quality criteria. In child abuse cases experts are so difficult to come by that ACAL are worried by the proposals and have issued a response which can be read here. It has been put together by our Exec Committee member Tracey Storey.
Safeguards for Children Living Away From Home
Report (for pdf format click here) following up "People Like Us" by Sir William Utting states that Children living away from home are better protected against abuse than in the mid-1990s when a succession of scandals in care homes were exposed. But there has been little or no progress in bringing sex abusers to justice, or in providing adequate help for children who have been sexually abused. And there are concerns for the protection of specially vulnerable groups, including disabled children and children in prison. To view a pdf review click here. To view the whole report in pdf format click here. To buy a paper copy go to the jdf site - www.jrf.org.uk
Publishes annual reports which contain statistics as to the number of allegations made in any given year, which are useful. In the reports mention is made of policies adopted which attempt to protect children and vulnerable adults. Its purpose is "to assist the Catholic Church in Dioceses and Religious Congregations to become an example of best practice in Child Protection, and to develop a "culture of vigilance". When this entry was prepared there were reports for 2002 and 2003, but 2004 will shortly be published apparently.
Home Office Guidance - Inter Agency Guidelines
This is the guidance given by the Home Office to the Police for the way in which they should communicate with Third Parties in relation to Police Prosecutions. In particular this is important for solicitors when dealing with information they need from the police relating to the prosecutions of abusers.
This long awaited document published on 27th November 2005 gives the chuch's attitude towards homosexuality within the priesthood. It is stated clearly "Regarding acts, it teaches that Sacred Scripture presents them as grave sins. The Tradition has constantlyconsidered them as intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law. Consequently, under no cir¬cumstance can they be approved."
By Liz Davies, and Roger Kline dated August 2012.
ACAL had adopted the response to the government consultation, and agrees with the contents
This document was drawn up by David Lane and David Greenwood, both of whom were on the Executive board at the end of 2012 when this document was adopted as good practise by the Association.
This document was submitted to the Inquiry in response to a request for papers from the Inquiry whose website can be accessed here. The module in question dealing with this aspect of the civil and criminal jurisdictions is called the Accounts and Reparations module, for which more can be read here