Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Public Petitions Committee 2

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson told the Public Petitions Committee the Scottish government sought to set up a National Confidential Forum (NCF) "as quickly as possible".

MSPs were taking evidence on a petition "Time for all to be heard" calling for a forum and compensation scheme to be established for all victims of institutional child abuse on 29 November 2011.

Mr Matheson said he could not provide the committee with "a definitive timeframe."

The minister explained the process would entail the production of an action plan, a consultation document, examining submissions from consultation, drafting the legislation and then identifying a slot in the parliamentary calender to bring the legislation for consideration at Holyrood.

However, he said he hoped it would be "sooner rather than later."

In Scotland in 2010, Time to be Heard: A Pilot Forum was established.

Its aim was to test the effectiveness of a confidential forum in giving former residents of residential schools and children's homes the opportunity to recount their experiences in care, especially abusive experiences, to an independent and non-judgemental panel.

Mr Matheson said the government and various agencies and stakeholders would consider the findings of this pilot as outlined in the Shaw report 2011.

Community Safety and Legal Affairs Minister Roseanna Cunningham also appeared before the committee.

She explained she was awaiting the findings of a Westminster review on the personal injury compensation scheme and highlighted it was reserved.

Ms Cunningham also said consultation on extending the time bar for personal injury claims was "imminent."

Later the committee considered new petitions on reforming uniform policy in all Scottish local authority schools, and amending the law of succession to end the requirement for a Bond of Caution by an executor-dative when seeking confirmation of any intestate estate.

Finally MSPs decided whether to close or continue current petitions.

In the first part of the committee, which can be viewed below, the Scottish Human Rights Commission called on ministers to provide "renewed impetus for securing remedies and justice for survivors of historic abuse."

Public Petitions Committee 1

Public Petitions Committee membership

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