Page last updated at 10:21 GMT, Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Scottish Parliament

Communities Minister Fergus Ewing told the Public Petitions Committee that Scots Law is not fit to provide justice for those who have suffered institutional child abuse.

He told MSPs on 21 December 2010 that there was a view the current law is "inflexible" and "out of date".

Mr Ewing also acknowledged the difficulties victims had accessing civil procedures, saying he hoped to introduce a consultation paper next month looking at ways to radically improve the law.

It would also consider the prospect of giving judges more discretion.

His comments came in response to a petition from abuse victims Chris Daly and Helen Holland for a new national forum and compensation scheme for victims of institutional child abuse.

The petitioners have urged ministers to follow the route taken in Ireland, where a compensation scheme for institutional child abuse victims was put into operation.

Concerns under the current system include too short a time limit, in which the adult survivors of child abuse have to bring a case.

Mr Ewing was questioned along with Children's Minister Adam Ingram, and Health Minister Shona Robison who told the committee the government-launched pilot project on the issue is also due to report in the new year.

Public Petitions Committee membership


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