HIA: WHAT SURVIVORS WANT FROM REDRESS
KRW LAW LLP is instructed by a number of survivors of historic institutional sexual abuse in the North of Ireland. Our clients include Gary Hoy and Richard Kerr who were abused whilst at the Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast. Last year KRW LAW LLP challenged the authority of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) hearing evidence from survivors in Banbridge.
This challenge was on the basis that the HIA is not being conducted in a manner compliant with human rights standards and that it does not have powers to compel evidence from potential witness from the security forces operating in the North of Ireland during the Conflict and connected with the Kincora Boys’ Home sexual abuse scandal. Judgment in that challenge is to be delivered on 08 04 2016.
Today abuse survivors will tell MLAs at Stormont that they want the next Northern Ireland Executive to establish a comprehensive redress system, to include financial compensation, counselling services, access to childhood records, family tracing and a meaningful apology for the sexual, physical and emotional abuse suffered in children’s homes. The former residents of children’s homes across Northern Ireland will gather at Parliament Buildings to launch a Report which sets out the findings of research conducted by a new Expert Panel on Redress, comprising representatives from a range of victims’ groups, as well as national and international experts. Sir Anthony Hart, Chair of the HIA, has already indicated that he will be recommending a redress programme to address the needs of survivors.
KRW LAW LLP has been assisting the Expert Panel on Redress through the provision of our expertise in the area of redress for survivors of institutional abuse and human rights standards. We have attended meetings of the Expert Panel and provided the Expert Panel with briefing papers to assist them in moving toward its recommendations, which are reflected in today’s Report to politicians at Stormont.
The Kincora judgment next month is an important moment in the journey of the survivors of institutional abuse and whatever is decided by the judiciary will inform this on-going process of providing redress to survivors. Today it is about making politicians aware of the importance of this legacy of abuse and its effect upon survivors in our jurisdiction.
Claire McKeegan, the KRW LAW LLP solicitor instructed in the Kincora Boys’ Home challenge, said this morning:
“KRW LAW LLP has been proud to assist the Expert Panel on Redress through contributing our legal knowledge in this area. We have worked together with colleagues from the University of Ulster, Amnesty International and the Bar Library to produce a Report to the MLAs at Stormont which, together with the legal challenges we are bringing on behalf of our clients who are survivors of institutional abuse, will hopefully serve to provide a mechanism of support, with political will to make a Redress programme real.”
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