This will be the place to find all breaking news and updates from Thompsons and personal injury litigation in general.
Following on from our recent blog launching Thompsons 2021 Scottish Parliament Election Manifesto we are exploring each of our demands in more depth.Our Survivor Team works every day for the justice of survivors of historical abuse and have been watching with keen interest the development of the Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill. This Bill, which aims to compensate survivors, has recently been finalised and while we acknowledge it is a step in the right direction it is lacking in several areas and we urge to next Scottish Parliament to amend these areas.
International Workers’ Memorial Day is marked on 28th April to remember those who have lost their lives as a result of work related disease or injury, or in accidents at work. For many, this conjures up images of the dangerous industrial work environments of the past, rather than a current and relevant issue, but that does not reflect the reality. The theme of IWMD this year is health and safety as a fundamental workers’ right, and over the course of the past year, the importance of this has hit home for everyone.
Another session of the Scottish Parliament has ended without legislation being passed to tackle the glaring failure in our criminal law that has been well know to everyone for decades. It is a failure that is of course felt most acutely and heartbreakingly by those families who have lost a loved one to gross negligence or recklessness, particularly on the part of organisations, but who did not see justice done through a conviction for Culpable Homicide. It is a failure that puts us all at risk. It is a failure that if anything ought to be a priority for our politicians at Holyrood it is surely one. In fact, it ought to be at the very top of their list.
The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) has recently published an interim report into the relationship between COVID-19 and occupation (‘COVID-19 and occupation: position paper 48’). The IIAC are an independent scientific body who advise the UK Government on whether benefits should be payable for certain industrial injuries and diseases.
For those of our client’s involved in Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAIs) the one thing that comes up again, and again, is the time it takes for the case to get to Court.To start with an example, we were involved in an FAI in early 2019 relating to a death from 2014. That is almost 5 years for the case to be heard before a Court. That is 5 years where a family may be without answers about how and why their loved one died, 5 years without real clarity on the circumstances around the death. 5 years for staff involved in a death, through the course of their employment, of worry and anguish as to whether they did all they could to prevent the death. 5 years for memories to fade, evidence to be less reliable and people involved to have moved on and be more difficult to trace.
In the first case of its kind, a victim of sexual assault has been awarded £35,000 in compensation for the inhumane treatment she received when in the witness box. Lord Carloway condemned the behaviour of solicitor Andy Aitken and refusal to intervene from Sheriff Hammond as a ‘serious failure in the administration of justice.’ Shannon brought a case against the Lord Advocate after seeking legal advice and being told that a previous case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found that judges must ensure victims of sexual crimes are protected during proceedings.
As the political parties return to the campaign trail, we at Thompsons are launching our 2021 Scottish Parliament Election manifesto.As Scotland’s leading firm of Solicitors dedicated to representing trades union members, victims of workplace injury and mistreatment and survivors of historical sexual abuse we have first-hand experience of the deficiencies in our current laws. We see daily the extent to which the law currently fails to fairly balance the relationship between employer and employee, between victims of accidents and insurers and between the individual and the state.
The review group, tasked with improving the Scottish Criminal Justice System for the management of sexual offence cases, have now published their findings and recommendations on 18th March 2021.i The focus was to improve the system for the complainers and the vulnerable witnesses, without compromising any of the rights of the accused.