QLD must act to remove time limits on legal claims for survivors of in
10th May 2016
The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has today thrown its support behind calls within the legal industry for Queensland to remove time limits on legal claims for survivors of institutionalised abuse.
ALA Queensland President Rod Hodgson said Queensland was still yet to act on addressing statute of limitations for survivors, with other states including NSW, Victoria and WA having already introduced or introducing legislation to address the issue.
The removal of time limits by State Governments was a key recommendation made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in September last year.
“For many survivors of institutionalised abuse it can take years to come to terms with what has happened to them, and further time still to then be able to come forward to talk about this, let alone consider what legal rights or options may be available to them,” Mr Hodgson said.
“This has been evident in countless hearings that have occurred right across the country as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
“For survivors in Queensland, too often by the time they come forward their legal rights to any sort of redress or compensation are extinguished because of strict and unreasonable time limits on legal claims that dictate that people must come forward to lodge a claim by the age of 21.
“This is entirely inappropriate, and the law needs to catch up to ensure that an appropriate and fair system is in place to support survivors who come forward to seek help, irrespective of how many years this may take them.
“The ALA is today joining the calls of other legal bodies including the Queensland Law Society for the removal of time limits in relation to institutionalised abuse cases – this is an important and necessary access to justice measure that will make a significant difference to the lives of many survivors,” he said.
The ALA will be attending a forum held at Parliament House tonight that will be looking at the issue of time limitations.