Reform of NSW child sex abuse laws welcome

10th Nov 2021

New laws in NSW that allow courts to set aside unfair settlements in child sexual abuse matters are very welcome, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

“To be able to break settlements which are not considered ‘just and reasonable’ will make a significant difference to the many survivors of abuse who were pressured into unfair compensation arrangements with churches and other institutions,” said Dr Andrew Morrison RFD SC, spokesperson for the ALA.

“We know that there are many abuse survivors who have, in the past, accepted inadequate compensation and unreasonable gag orders because of the power and financial resources of these institutions.

“We commend the Attorney General for accepting the Legislative Council amendments so that all inadequate and unjust settlements can be set aside and justice done to victims of historic child abuse.

“We are particularly pleased that the laws remove restrictions on compensation claims for survivors of child abuse that occurred in custody. The abuse of a child within any institution is a terrible and serious crime, and abuse inflicted while this child is in the care of the government is particularly horrendous and the survivor must be able to access compensation.

“These news laws will allow survivors to pursue the compensation they deserve and overturn the often horribly unfair and unreasonable settlements of the past.”

Tags: Civil liability Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Child Sexual Abuse