Australia – more institutions join but redress is slow

The latest update from the National Redress Scheme (NRS) in Australia which was published last week advises that on 18 April 2019, the following institutions joined the Scheme:

  • Benedictine Community of New Norcia
  • Child and Family Services Ballarat (CAFS)
  • Scouts Tasmania
  • Yeshivah-Beth Rivkah Schools

The fifth group of Anglican organisations have also joined, represented by Anglican Representative Limited. They are:

  • Anglican Diocese of Armidale
  • Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn
  • Anglican Diocese of Wangaratta
  • Anglicare North Queensland
  • Anglicare Victoria

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IICSA announces a new investigation

A significant focus of the Royal Commission (RC)  in Australia in the national inquiry in connection with child abuse was religious organisations. Given the results of the RC and of other similar inquiries, it is not surprising that IICSA has announced an investigation looking at child abuse and religion, this being in addition to the two current investigations into abuse in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches.

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The challenges of Redress

The provision of financial redress for victims and survivors of abuse is never easy and there is no system which is satisfactory to all. In a series of blogs to be published this week, we consider the latest schemes and update on how they are progressing.

A rally for survivors and their supporters took place in Melbourne on Sunday the 31 March 2019, amid calls for the National Redress Scheme (the scheme) to be changed.

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Update on the Australian National Redress Scheme

On the 19 June the Australian Parliament passed legislation to establish the National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, ensuring the scheme can begin on 1 July 2018. Continue reading

Australian Redress Scheme about to get underway – 1st July, 2018

On the 10th May, 2018 the National Redress Scheme (the Scheme) legislation was introduced to the Parliament for Australia. This legislation replaces the Commonwealth legislation previously introduced and this allow for States and territories that join the Scheme to participate under law. Continue reading

Impact of the Abolition and Amendment of the Law of Limitation in relation to non-recent child abuse – comparative experiences

Western Australia is the latest state to introduce laws which will enhance the prospects of success for claimants’ bringing claims for damages arising out of non-recent sexual abuse. Following the lead of all other states, apart from South Australia, legislation has just been enacted that will abolish the 6 year limitation period.   The recently concluded Royal Commission found that on average an individual waited 22 years to disclose their abusive experiences   The changes being introduced also provide a legal basis for suing institutions in the name of their current office holders and include provisions designed to overcome difficulties survivors may face in identifying a correct defendant.  Continue reading

IICSA developments – where next?

IICSA is now moving forward rapidly and in so doing answering some of the past criticisms about how long it will take and whether it is cost effective. Its first report regarding child migration was important but in many ways confirmed what was known from earlier reports and addressed something which no longer occurs. The second report, which is to be published on 12 April, addresses matters which are still very much part of everyday life for many people. This report relates to abuse in connection with Cambridge House Boys’ Hostel, Knowl View School and Rochdale Borough Council. Whilst with any report there will be parts which are very specific to the organisations, people or locality which the investigation focused upon, the themes and recommendations are likely to be of relevance to a much wider audience. As with the reports of the Royal Commission in Australia they will however only be of value if they are put in to practice and not left to gather dust. Continue reading