Scale of the inquiry
Set up in 2015 in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, IICSA has over the course of the last 7 years conducted 15 investigations and published 19 related investigation reports. This final report summarises the evidence of the 7,000 victims and 725 witnesses that gave evidence during the 325 days of public hearings.
In her statement before publication of the final report, the Chair of the inquiry Professor Alexis Jay OBE paid tribute to the victims and urged the UK Government, the Welsh Government, and all other relevant institutions to accept and implement its recommendations as a “matter of urgency”. Furthermore, she advised that they should publish details of the steps taken within six months of the report.
She stated that the inquiry “heard time and again how allegations of abuse were ignored, victims were blamed, and institutions prioritised their reputations over the protection of children.”
Three core recommendations
A total of 20 recommendations were made to help protect children. However, three core recommendations form the centrepiece of the Inquiry’s report and recommendations:
- The introduction of a statutory requirement of mandatory reporting. Requiring individuals and professions to report allegations of child sexual abuse to the relevant authorities. Failure to do so in some circumstances could lead to the commission of a new criminal offence of failure to report an allegation of child sexual abuse when required to do so.
- The establishment of a national redress scheme: to provide some monetary redress for child sexual abuse for those who have been let down by institutions in the past. This should be a fixed-term scheme with straightforward processes to ensure that, as far as possible, victims and survivors secure efficient access to the help they need.
- The creation of a Child Protection Authority (CPA) in England and in Wales: This should have the powers to inspect any institution associated with children and be centres of expertise that may extend their child protection functions to other forms of harm experienced, as well as monitoring the implementation of the Inquiry’s recommendations.
Other recommendations include:
- A single set of core data relating to child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation
- The creation of a cabinet-level Minister for Children
- A public awareness campaign on child sexual abuse
- A ban on the use of pain compliance techniques on children in custodial institutions
- amendment of the Children Act 1989 to give parity of legal protection to children in care
- Registration of care staff in residential care, and staff in young offender institutions and secure training centres
- Improved compliance with statutory duties to inform the Disclosure and Barring Service about individuals who may pose a risk of harm to children
- Extending the disclosure regime to those working with children overseas
- Extended use of the barred list of people unsuitable for work with children
- More robust age-verification requirements for the use of online platforms and services
- Mandatory online pre-screening for sexual images of children
- A guarantee of specialist therapeutic support for child victims of sexual abuse
- A code of practice for access to records pertaining to child sexual abuse
- Removal of the three-year limitation period for personal injury claims brought by victims
- Further changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
The role of Leverets
Leverets represented the family of the late Lord Greville Janner and obtained Core Participant status for his daughters. We guided the family through the IICSA process, advising on how best to protect their father’s reputation and attended all hearings, having already represented his estate in proceedings in both the Queen’s Bench and Chancery Divisions.
By focusing on the detail of the documentation disclosed by the Inquiry as part of the investigation, Leverets was able to question the credibility of the allegations made as well as the processes used to investigate them. The final report draws no conclusions about the veracity of the allegations against Greville Janner who lived and died an innocent man.
Leverets will act for individuals, private organisations, campaigners, or public bodies who might be under scrutiny or who are involved as interested parties. Based on our extensive experience working with local authorities, charitable organisations, and sporting bodies we can advise, represent, and manage media interest where matters of great sensitivity as well as reputational issues are involved.
For more information get in touch with our specialist barrister-and-solicitor team