Institutions will be held liable for abuse ‘on their watch’, thanks to new civil litigation laws

26th Sep 2018

The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has welcomed the new NSW civil litigation laws which will remove barriers that have prevented child sexual abuse survivors receiving justice.

“After many years of trying to remedy the problems created by the Ellis defence, I am delighted to see the NSW government taking positive action,” said Dr Andrew Morrison RFD SC, spokesperson for the ALA.

Dr Morrison represented Mr Ellis in the case Ellis v Pell and the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Sydney[2006] NSWSC 109; [2007] NSWCA 117; [2007] HCA 697. He has appeared in a substantial number of other cases in respect of sexual abuse of children within institutions.

“The new laws are all intended to overcome the Ellis defence and they will ensure that organisations are held liable for what happens on their watch.  Institutions will be liable for abuse and will be held to account.

“We would hope that this legal responsibility will lead to better protection for children.

“Nothing can take away the devastating impact of abuse but these new laws will make it easier for survivors to be compensated.

“Some of the changes are not retrospective but the bulk of them are, and common law fills most of the gaps. This is a significant and very positive step forward.”

The ALA is a national association of lawyers, academics, and other professionals dedicated to protecting and promoting justice, freedom and the rights of the individual.


Tags: Compensation NSW Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse