Australia – Institutions that have not yet joined the Scheme

In establishing the National Redress Scheme the Australian Government was very clear that it expected every institution in which sexual abuse of children occurred to be accountable for that abuse and to join the Scheme and provide redress.

In fact the Australian Department of Social Services has a dedicated team who contacts Institutions that may have responsibility for abuse, strongly encourages them to join the Scheme, and provides information about how to do so.

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IICSA publishes report on child sexual abuse in custodial institutions

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) published its report into sexual abuse of children in custodial institutions on the 28 February 2019.

The report follows on from a hearing on 9 – 20 July 2018 and can be found here.

It examines evidence of “appalling abuse and institutional failures to protect children in the youth secure estate in England and Wales”.  The investigation looked at Youth Offenders Institutions (YOI), Secure Training Centres (STC) and Secure Children’s Homes (SCH).

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Northern Ireland update – Consultation time extended at request of victims and survivors groups

Senior civil servant David Sterling has confirmed that The Executive Office has listened to requests from victims and survivors for an extension to the time allowed for responses during the consultation period on the draft legislation, following recommendations from the Historic Institutional Abuse Inquiry. Continue reading

Are bullying and harassment prevalent in charities?

Public perception is often that charities are likely to provide safe and positive work places as compared to profit driven large private businesses. Recent examples suggest, however, that such a view may not always be accurate and that the charitable sector needs to ensure that it has in place good anti-bullying and harassment policies. Continue reading

Child Migrant Redress

The first report published by IICSA in March 2018 related to child migration and it included a recommendation that HM Government establish a redress scheme for surviving former child migrants providing an equal award to every applicant on the basis they were all exposed to the risk of sexual abuse. This concept of being at risk of abuse even if abuse did not occur echoes the harm’s way payments included in the Lambeth Council Scheme and proposed in the Northern Ireland Redress Scheme.

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Vicarious liability and membership of an unincorporated association

The Supreme Court decision in the Irish case of Hickey v McGowan and Cosgrove [2017] IESC 6 has important consequences for members of unincorporated associations. The background to the case involved a finding of sexual abuse having been committed against the plaintiff while a student at a Marist National School from 1969 to 1972. The second defendant, a Marist Brother, was found to have abused the plaintiff in the course of his employment as a teacher at the school. The first defendant was the Provincial of the Marist Order when proceedings were initiated and was sued in a representative capacity. Continue reading