The Scottish Goverment has invited interested parties to take part in the pre-legislative public consultation on financial redress for historial child abuse in care published September 2019.
The impact on civil claims is not yet known, but is now subject to consideration. The principle underlying this element of the discussion is that a person should not be compensated twice for the same matter.
Should people who have received damages or settlements in respect of the same abuse be excluded from applying to the redress scheme? And, where an applicant has already received some form of compensation, should an appropriate amount from the redress payment be deducted?
Let's flip this and consider its impact on civil claims where a redress payment has already been paid.
Should those awarded a sum under the redress scheme be excluded from raising a civil claim in respect of the same abuse, or if not excluded from doing so, will the redress payment be taken into consideration and deducted?
The Scottish Government is proposing to make applicants choose between accepting a redress payment and pursuing a remedy in the civil courts. This seems a sensible approach and accords with many redress schemes in other countries.
Whether the scheme adequately compensates so as to reduce the need for civil claims, only time will tell...
Where an applicant has already received some form of compensation in respect of their abuse (for example a court award following a civil court action, or an out of court settlement) most redress schemes in other countries have dealt with this by deducting an appropriate amount from the redress payment. The principle underlying this is that a person should not be compensated twice for the same matter.