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NSW reviews child abuse civil laws


Publication date: Sunday, 23 July 2017

Attorney General Mark Speakman today encouraged the community to have a say on changing laws to make it easier for survivors of child abuse to obtain civil justice.

The NSW Government has released a consultation paper on the civil litigation recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

"The feedback of survivors, victims' groups, legal stakeholders, institutions and the community will help shape how NSW addresses child abuse and its devastating consequences," Mr Speakman said.

The NSW Government has already implemented some of the civil litigation recommendations of Royal Commission by:

  • removing limitation periods in civil claims for child abuse;
  • offering unlimited free counselling to survivors; and
  • introducing guiding principles for all Government agencies in responding to civil child abuse claims.

The paper examines the Royal Commission's remaining recommendations to hold institutions accountable for child abuse and to remove the barriers faced by victims when making civil claims and identifying a proper civil defendant.

"The consultation paper seeks submissions on the benefits and challenges of the Royal Commission's recommendations and the impact they would have on survivors and institutions responsible for the care of young people. This is about ensuring that civil justice is accessible for survivors," Mr Speakman said.

The NSW Government continues to engage with the Commonwealth on the establishment of a redress scheme for survivors of past institutional child abuse. Redress offers survivors of past abuse with an important alternative to civil litigation.

The consultation paper is available at www.justice.nsw.gov.au and submissions can be made on the NSW Government's 'Have Your Say' website www.nsw.gov.au/improving-nsw/have-your-say  Submission on the paper close on Monday, 4 September 2017.