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Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry Hearings

Leave to Appear - Scottish Government Evidence

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry Hearings:  Scottish Government evidence

In November 2020 the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) will begin hearings which will examine the actions of central government in relation to issues arising out of non-recent abuse of children in institutional care.

These hearings will explore reasons why calls for a public inquiry throughout the period between August 2002 and December 2014 were turned down by the Scottish Government.

SCAI will consider the actions of central government between the lodging of Petition PE535 with the Public Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament in August 2002, and the announcement by Scottish Ministers in December 2014 of a public inquiry.

Petition PE535 called “for the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Executive to (a) make an inquiry into past institutional child abuse, in particular for those children who were in the care of the State under the supervision of religious orders and (b) make unreserved apology for said State bodies and to urge the religious orders to apologise unconditionally.”

Subject to ongoing public health guidance and physical distancing measures, it is hoped the hearings will take place at the Inquiry’s hearing venue on the 3rd floor of Rosebery House, 9 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 5EZ.

Evidence is likely to be taken both from witnesses in person, as well as remotely via video link. Further details will be provided as soon as we are able to do so. This phase of evidence is expected to conclude in early December.

At this stage, applications may be made for leave to appear for this phase of evidence. Anyone wishing to apply should do so as soon as possible and, in any event, no later than noon on 28 August 2020.

What’s involved in having “leave to appear” is explained here on the Inquiry’s website. www.childabuseinquiry.scot. There are also application forms on the website.

Members of the public do not need “leave to appear” to watch hearings from the public areas in the Inquiry venue. They are welcome to do so at any time, in line with public health guidance and physical distancing measures.