On 19th September 2019, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse published a report in its Accountability and Reparations Investigation.
The Investigation is looking at the effectiveness of the criminal and civil justice systems in delivering accountability and reparations for victims and survivors. It is focused on the civil justice system, criminal compensation and support services. During a three-week hearing, it looked in detail at five case studies from the 1960s to the present day: North Wales children’s homes; Forde Park school in Devon; St Leonard’s children’s home in London; St Aidan’s and St Vincent’s children’s homes in Cheshire and Merseyside; and Stanhope Castle school in County Durham. The Investigation heard from victims and survivors who were abused while in care, as well as police officers, claimant and defendant lawyers, insurers and charity managers. The report made a number of recommendations, including calling for a code of practice governing the way defendants approach civil claims for historic child sexual abuse.
Peter Skelton QC, Lois Williams and Gideon Barth were instructed as Counsel to the Investigation.
Neil Sheldon QC represented the Ministry of Justice.