Childhood abuse reforms could see Scottish councils face an insurance black hole

By Pamela Stevenson | 27 September 2017

On 4 October the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Act will come into effect in Scotland, abolishing the three-year time limit on survivors of childhood abuse suing for damages. Victims who suffered abuse as far back as 1964 will now be entitled to seek compensation.

An ongoing public inquiry into the abuse of children in care has already unearthed some truly horrifying cases, and this legislation forms part of a wider drive by the Scottish Government to empower victims. But while the intended purpose of the legislation is clear, valid questions have been raised about how local authorities, and indeed the Scottish court system, will cope with a potentially huge increase in claims. When the Bill passed in Holyrood, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) said: ‘Despite our strong support for the legislation, we recognise that it will have a potentially significant financial impact on local government.’

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