Maurice Blackburn welcomes Royal Commission national redress scheme recommendations

15 September 2015
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers have today welcomed a series of recommendations for a national redress scheme handed down by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Maurice Blackburn Senior Associate Danielle De Paoli said it was hoped that through the release of specific recommendations that the Federal Government would now step-up in introducing an appropriate redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.
 
“Unfortunately the Federal Government in the past has shown an unwillingness to support such a scheme,” Ms De Paoli said.
 
“While we understand there will be work required to engage with all the states and territories in negotiating the creation of a national redress scheme, we also believe that this is an issue that can no longer be put in the too hard basket, and a commitment to act in assisting people affected by such abuse is needed now.
 
“It is our view that a national scheme is also important in providing one point of access for compensation and acknowledgement for people affected, as we commonly see many instances of cases were people have been abused across different states and territories.
 
“One national scheme will help victims to avoid the trauma of dealing with multiple regimes.
 
Ms De Paoli said the firm also strongly supported the Commission’s recommendation that State and Territory Governments introduce legislation regarding the removal of limitation periods for victims of child sexual abuse, retrospectively.
 
“This is a very important issue: for many victims it can often take years before they are able to come forward and talk about what happened to them, as the experience of the Royal Commission has repeatedly demonstrated,” Ms De Paoli said.
 
“We note that Victoria has already acted on this, which has been welcome.
 
“Removing such limitation periods is a significant and overdue legal reform that will play an important and necessary role in helping to ensure that people in such circumstances are still able to exercise their legal rights.”