The proposed lifting of the three-year time limit that prevents childhood abuse survivors from seeking civil damages in court is the focus of a call for evidence issued today by Holyrood's Justice Committee.

MSPs on the committee are to scrutinise the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill ahead of its stage 1 debate. The legislation proposes to remove the current time bar which applies to civil personal injury damages cases, specifically for claims relating to childhood abuse.

The committee is hoping to hear from a wide range of people and stakeholder organisations. These include abuse survivors and their representative bodies, care providers and legal experts.

Convener Margaret Mitchell MSP commented: “This bill is undoubtedly a very sensitive piece of legislation which the committee will scrutinise to assess the impact on the people who it may affect. While the Justice Committee is supportive of access to justice, we need to be certain these proposals are fit for purpose.

“We want to understand the practicalities and to hear different perspectives on these proposals, so we hope we will get pertinent submissions and testimonies.”

In particular, the committee is looking to hear on:

  • whether there is a consensus with the idea of removing the time bar;
  • the expected impact on survivors of childhood abuse, those who might be involved in defending civil actions, and the courts;
  • whether people agree with the Government’s definitions of “child” and “abuse”;
  • the proposed ability to raise claims that were previously time-barred.

Click here to view the call for evidence. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 11 January 2017.