Evidence from Sonja Cooper and Amanda Hill on behalf of Cooper Legal will address:
- The beginnings of the civil claims against the State for abuse in psychiatric hospitals and Social Welfare care;
- How the claims grew, and how the State responded – with a mixture of ‘listening’ forums and fierce, uncompromising defence in the Court;
- How State mechanisms such as the Courts and Legal Aid played a role in the claims process;
- The role of our human rights law – both national and international – in progressing the civil claims;
- Settlement processes both past and current, and why they are not fit for purpose; and
- The disadvantages experienced by many survivors, including: less access to information; fewer resources to obtain help; often poor literacy or mental health and economic circumstances which pressure them to accept amounts of compensation which do not reflect their experiences; and
- What they see as the way forward for the claims process as part of a larger truth and reconciliation process.