A 'Historic Abuse Redress Scheme' has finally been set up to compensate victims of physical and sexual abuse suffered by those in residential care of the States of Jersey between 1948 and 1994. Tracey Emmott called for a redress scheme to be set up almost 4 years ago, as reported in the Independent.
The scheme was announced today after 4 years of talks and communications with the States of Jersey and their legal representatives.
Tracey Emmott, a specialist child abuse lawyer at Bedford law firm Emmott Snell Solicitors represents a number of such victims. Commenting on the scheme Tracey Emmott said: "Clearly no amount of money can ever compensate for the lifelong damaging effects of being abused while a child in care, or for the failings of those who were supposed to be standing in the shoes of parents. The Scheme falls short of a formal admission of liability, which most of my clients were hoping for. However it does in my view represent some recognition of responsibility on the part of the States of Jersey for the endemic and systematic abuse that was so prevalent in many Jersey children's homes."
"While I do not feel the redress scheme is overly generous, the tariffs are not significantly out of line with general damages awards made in the English courts, or by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme for England and Wales" - she comments.
"The alternative to victims is to bring a claim in the Jersey courts. Unfortunately under Jersey law all civil claims arising from childhood abuse must be brought by a person's 21st birthday. Most victims are many years past their 21st birthdays. Jersey law applies this rule very strictly and to overcome it, while not impossible, would probably require a change in Jersey law. Bringing a civil action through the Jersey courts would be extremely difficult and would be hugely costly and would add further trauma to victims. The Redress Scheme means such proceedings can be avoided."
"The process of trying to bring about a mechanism for compensation for Jersey victims has been tortuous my clients' patience has been tested unimaginably, and the wait itself has been for some, re-traumatising. However now it is hoped that my clients' needs for recognition and justice will be properly recognised, and that the scheme will help bring some closure".