Secretary of State refuses to respond to demands for a Redress Scheme for Survivors

KRW LAW LLP is instructed by a number of survivors of historic institutional sexual abuse in Northern Ireland. We also advise a number of Survivor Groups.


Yesterday, Kevin Winters attended a meeting with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, together with survivors.


This meeting followed demands made by survivors for the Secretary of State to establish a Redress Scheme as Recommended by Sir Anthony Hart in the Historical Institutional Abuse Report which was published in January 2017.


The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee wrote to the Secretary of State in March requesting that she legislate for a Redress Scheme for Survivors.  Yesterday, the Secretary of State refused to step in and bring forth the required legislation from Westminster in the absence of a functioning Executive at Stormont.


Kevin Winters said:


“The meeting I attended with the Secretary of State was dispiriting. She has refused to bring forward the legislation that is required to establish the Redress Scheme for Survivors by way of Westminster. As the HIA was a creature of the devolved Executive she maintains that it for Stormont to legislate – which of course cannot occur because of the present a foreseeable impasse. We shall be looking at alternative mechanisms”


Last week KRW, acting for Kincora abuse survivor, Richard Kerr, announced that a Writ and Statement of Claim have been issued on his behalf against a number of agencies claiming damages for his abuse by way of a civil action. This may be an alternative to a Redress Scheme but should in no way potential litigants from benefitting from a Redress Scheme should one be established in the future. Once again victims in Northern Ireland are forced to courts to seek redress.