Section 4: Other scheme design issues
(Please see Questions 24 to 30 in the Respondent Information Form)
We think that a survivor should still be able to apply to the financial redress scheme even if they have already received a payment from another organisation, whether that was through a court process, an out-of-court settlement, or criminal injuries compensation.
A payment from the redress scheme would be reduced by the amount of any previous payment, taking account of any adjustments that need to be made e.g. for inflation. The principle here is that a person should not be compensated twice for the same matter. We want to know if you agree with this approach or not.
Many redress schemes in other countries require applicants to choose between accepting a payment from the scheme or taking any future action in the civil court for the same abuse. This will usually require the signing of a waiver at the point of accepting a redress payment. This means the individual will sign a document agreeing they will not seek damages in the civil court for the same issue. We think our redress scheme should follow this approach and we want to know what you think about that.
Making an application
We are proposing that the redress scheme is open for applications for a period of five years and we want to know what you think about that.
Practical help making an application
We want to know what you think about how survivors could be helped to get the documents or records needed to apply, and what other support they might need to apply to the redress scheme.
We are thinking about whether the redress scheme should cover the cost of legal advice or representation. Options, such as Legal Aid, will be looked into. We think that, at the least, independent legal advice should be provided to the applicant before they accept a redress payment, if this means they have to sign a waiver (please see ‘other payments’ above). We want to know what you think about this.
We also want to know when else in the application process you think legal advice might be required.
In redress schemes in some other countries the cost of providing legal advice has been very expensive and has been criticised by survivors. We want to know how you think we could manage the costs of providing independent legal advice.