The National Redress Scheme
Australian Lawyers Alliance | 13th Jun 2018
The ALA supports the existence of a national redress scheme for the victims of child sexual abuse, with an objective of minimising litigation and stress.
However there are aspects of the Scheme that the ALA believes should be amended. The Scheme in its proposed form prevents those guilty of criminal offences from accessing redress, along with those without a permanent visa. In addition, the Scheme proposes a maximum compensation less than that recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The ALA recommends that:
- The maximum amount of redress available under the Scheme should be in line with that proposed by the Royal Commission;
- When working out the total amount of redress, institutions should not be able to rely upon claim settlements entered into where they did not legally exist, in a form capable of being sued. Institutions should, however, be entitled to credit for previous payments;
- The only eligibility requirement should relate to having suffered abuse that is the responsibility of a participant institution. Matters of citizenship or past criminal convictions are not relevant;
- There should be no sunset date in the Bill; and
- Institutions’ charitable status should be connected to their participation in the Scheme.