Institutional News

2 October 2020: Victorian Precedent - Setting Aside Past Deed of Release

WCB v Roman Catholic Trusts Corporation for the Diocese of Sale (No 2) is the first case in Victoria to be heard under a law passed in September 2019 allowing deeds to be set aside ‘where it is just and reasonable to do so.’

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25 September 2020: Prison Abuse and the Quarantine of Compensation

If the plaintiff (a prisoner or former prisoner) is awarded damages of greater than $10,000, the defendant institution must seek Court approval to hold the compensation in the Prisoner Quarantine Fund for a period of 12 months following the publication in the Government Gazette regarding the payment.

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17 September 2020: Suspected abuse at Our Lady of Mercy College

If you have been a victim of abuse whilst a student at Our Lady of Mercy College, we strongly recommend that you receive advice as to your rights before contacting the school.

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8 September 2020: Review of Judicial Proceedings Report Act 1958 (Vic)

Section 4 was enacted in 1991, making it an offence to publish information identifying a victim of sexual assault without that person’s consent. In February 2020, amendments to the Act took effect which had contradictory effects on different groups for victims.

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2 September 2020: Offenders of ‘good character’

For child sex offences, section 5AA of the Sentencing Act requires a court to disregard an offender’s previous good character or lack of convictions, if the court is satisfied this was of assistance in the commission of the offence.

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27 August 2020: Developments in institutional liability for sexual assault: SMA v John XXIII College (No.2) [2020] ACTSC 211

The law around organisational liability for sexual assaults continues to evolve following the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.

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10 August 2020: Stage 4 Restrictions

Even though AS Legal’s Melbourne office is now physically closed due to Stage 4 COVID restrictions, business is continuing as usual. Our reception is still operating as is our email address for general inquiries.

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29 July 2020: Update on the National Redress Scheme: Criticism by Federal Opposition and Second Year Anniversary Independent Review

The NRS has received sharp criticism from the Federal Opposition with respect to the operation of the Scheme and the delays in victims receiving compensation.

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23 July 2020: Paedophile Priest Supported, Befriended and Funded by the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne

The story of Father Ronald Pickering exemplifies the very worst of the Catholic Church’s handling of child sexual abuse allegations. Pickering was a prolific sexual offender for close to three decades from the early 1960s to early 1990s in various parishes around Melbourne.

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22 July 2020: Victoria to establish Truth and Justice Process for Aboriginal Victorians

The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs announced that the Government would begin work immediately in partnership with the First People’s Assembly to determine the terms of reference and how the process will work. This is a vital first step towards a long awaited treaty with our first Nation’s people.

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25 June 2020: Unscrupulous lawyers target abuse survivors

Sometimes our clients prefer to stay with Angela Sdrinis Legal to do a redress claim rather than going to a new law firm, but we always provide our clients with the option of Knowmore

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19 June 2020: Tasmania introduces legislative reforms to prevent institutional child abuse and improve access to justice for survivors

The Justice Legislation Amendment (Organisational Liability for Child Abuse) Act 2019 (the “Act”) came into force on 1 May 2020.

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5 June 2020: A historic reform to NSW law will see victims of child sexual assault get a “fairer go in court”, in a nationwide first

The announcement comes in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses Child Sexual Abuse who conducted a major empirical study into how juries reason when deliberating on multiple counts of child sexual abuse.

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20 May 2020: Sentencing Act Applications: An avenue for redress

The Sentencing Act 1991 allows victims to seek compensation directly from the offender where that person has been found guilty of an offence which caused the victim injury. The person applying for compensation (‘the applicant’) must make the application within 12 months of the offender being found guilty or convicted, although an applicant can apply for an extension of time.

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13 May 2020 Update on national redress scheme: Organisations still failing the children who were in their care.

As at the beginning of March 2020, 46 organisations named in the Royal Commission had failed to sign up to the Redress Scheme (24 of these being Catholic organisations). The Federal Government is campaigning to put pressure on these organisations to join the scheme before the 30 June 2020 deadline.

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