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Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry - Latest Updates

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has accepted the resignation of Glenn Houston from the Child Abuse Inquiry panel

Mr Houston has stood down as a panel member due to a change of circumstances in his working life. He has been a member of the panel since October 2015 sharing his expertise in health and social care and providing ongoing support to the inquiry’s important work. Copy of the relevant documets are linked below.

Resignation Letter

News Release

Letter to Education and Skills committee

The Deputy First Minister's Statement to Parliament

On 17 November 2016 the Deputy First Minister made a statement to Parliament regarding changes to the remit of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, Inquiry Panel membership and the commitment to a formal process of consultation and engagement with survivors on the issue of redress. A copy of this statement can be found here. The amended Terms of Reference can be found here.

More about the Inquiry

  • Terms of Reference

    The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry and definitions

  • Chair

    A biography for the Chair of the Inquiry and a copy of their declaration

    Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry - News

    The Rt Hon Lady Smith has been appointed by as Chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

    The Rt Hon Lady Smith has been appointed by the Deputy First Minister as Chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. Lady Smith, a senior Scottish judge, started her role from 1 August 2016. Further information on Lady Smith can be found here.

    The Deputy First Minister met with Survivor Representatives

    The Deputy First Minister met with survivor representatives on 7 July 2016, discussions included recent events in connection to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, how the expanded support fund is developing and the wider support available to survivors. A copy of the news release can be found here.

    Resignation of Inquiry Chair

    On Monday 4 July 2016 the Chair of the Inquiry, Ms Susan O’Brien QC, wrote to Ministers tendering her resignation from the position with immediate effect. The Deputy First Minister has issued a statement  and letter to Convener of the Education and Skills Committee at Scottish Parliament on Ms O’Brien’s resignation and copies of correspondence to which that statement refers are published below.

    Letter 1

    Letter 2

    Letter 3

    Letter 4

    Resignation Letter - Susan O'Brien QC



    The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry launched on 1 October 2015 and is one of the most wide-ranging public inquiries ever held in Scotland, with full powers to compel witnesses to give evidence, and is one of several commitments that emerged from the InterAction process involving survivors of in-care abuse.

    The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Angela Constance, on behalf of the Scottish Government, made a Parliamentary statement on 17 December 2014 announcing this Government’s intention to hold a National Inquiry into Historical Child Abuse. This also set out this Government’s strong commitment to engage with Survivors and relevant organisations to seek views on the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry, as well as the attributes of the Chair and Panel. This engagement will continue through the summer months as full details of the range of support services are developed.
    Find out more on the SurvivorScotland website

    We held a series of events where survivors, their families and representative organisations could give their views on a range of issues. We also accepted comments via a dedicated phone line and website and in writing. This built on commitments made through the InterAction process, led by the Scottish Human Rights Commission and the Centre of Excellence for Looked after Children in Scotland (CELCIS), to improve the support for survivors and their families. It asked participants to comment on:

    • Commemoration
    • A Survivor Support Fund
    • Time-bar