Australia: Catholic Church avoids reporting abuse.

Victims to be able to sue church - Comment on 2012 November 19

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2012 November 19

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Victims of sexual abuse to give evidence if they so wish, including possibly those who have been paid hush money. Read more:

Here extracts from a report of today:

 

Victims to be able to sue church

The commission will investigate all institutions and was sparked by allegations of abuse and cover-up by the Catholic Church in the Hunter Valley.

Victims of sexual abuse would be able to sue the Catholic Church for compensation as a result of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Child Sexual Abuse, legal experts say.

And any victim of sexual abuse would be able to give evidence, if they wished.

A discussion paper released late on Monday by the commission secretariat says the commission's findings "may extend to ensuring that there are no obstacles to the making of claims and that there is sufficient support for victims of abuse in pursuing those claims".

Presently, the church is classified as a non-legal entity for the purpose of compensation claims, which means victims cannot sue.

The discussion paper, part of the consultation process to establish the terms of reference, has been sent to all state and territory leaders as well as the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, the Greens and the federal independents.

The paper also confirms the commission will require several commissioners, take "years" and involve "thousands of victims and hundreds of organisations" but victims will not have to wait that long for recompense and justice.

It invites every victim of sexual abuse to give evidence if they so wish, including possibly those who have been paid hush money, and will pass information to police along the way, rather than wait "years" until the commission has concluded.

 

See
2012 Nov 12 (3) Politicians have church in sight
2012 Nov 15 Australia: Catholic Church avoids reporting abuse

 

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