Second phase of Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry announced

Image source, Nick Mailer
Image caption, The inquiry is chaired by High Court judge Lady Smith

The second phase of hearings in the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is to open with a case study centring on care establishments run by a Catholic order.

The independent inquiry is looking in detail at historical abuse of children in residential care in Scotland.

The inquiry has been separated into a series of phases, the first of which continues on 31 October.

Phase two starts on November 28 with a study of homes run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

Applications to appear in relation to this case study are now open, with a particular focus on Smyllum Park in Lanark and Bellevue House in Rutherglen. The deadline for applications to appear, for people with a direct or substantial interest in the hearings, close on 4 September.

Further case studies will be announced in due course.

Inquiry scope

More than 60 institutions including several top private schools and church bodies are being investigated as part of the probe, which is chaired by Lady Smith and is due to report no sooner than October 2019.

The inquiry states its purpose as being "to investigate the nature and extent of abuse of children whilst in care in Scotland", while considering "the extent to which institutions and bodies with legal responsibility for the care of children failed in their duty", in particular seeking any "systemic failures".

However, it does not cover children who were abused while living with their natural or adoptive families, while using sports and leisure clubs or attending faith based organisations on a day to day basis. The inquiry will also not examine allegations of children being abused in non-boarding schools, nursery or day-care centres.

The evidence given at hearings will supplement written statements taken from witnesses in advance, and the inquiry is continuing to take statements from survivors of abuse in private sessions.

The first phase of hearings, which began in May, heard apologies from groups who said they "deplored that physical sexual abuses could occur".

The inquiry, which had cost more than £7.8m as of 30 June, is taking place at Rosebery House in Edinburgh.

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