ALA renews calls for Royal Commission into child sex abuse

11th Sep 2012

The ALA renews its calls for a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in religious institutions, following Anglican Bishop Brian Farran’s support for an open inquiry.

Yesterday, Newcastle Anglican Bishop, Brian Farran, publicly announced the defrocking of three senior priests following several sexual allegations. He also banned another priest from the ministry for five years as well as a former church worker in a lay position.

His announcement was accompanied by a request that police renew their investigations into conduct of those clergy.

Importantly, he also called for an open public inquiry into child sexual abuse in religious institutions.

The ALA acknowledges the difficulty for Bishop Farran to respond in such a way.

“We thank him for his dedication to justice and transparency. Such choices require courage,” said ALA spokesperson Dr Andrew Morrison SC.

The ALA renews its calls for a royal commission on this issue.

“To date, the Premier’s only response has been to say he will await a Victorian parliamentary inquiry as he was concerned about interfering with police investigations,” said Dr Morrison.

“The Victorian inquiry is limited to Victoria. Internal church inquiries are manifestly inadequate,” Dr Morrison said.

“Royal commissions can and do deal with the problem of continuing police inquiries and often make helpful findings and recommendations for these inquiries.

"If we wait until all outstanding police inquiries are completed, there will never be an inquiry into what is a very large and systemic problem,” he said.

“Enough suicides have already occurred amongst victims, Premier."

Tags: Criminal justice Victims of crime Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse