The civil litigation recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: Redress and Civil Litigation Report - understanding the Queensland context

In late 2015, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Commission), established by the Australian Government, delivered the Redress and Civil Litigation Report (the Report).

The Queensland Government considered the findings and recommendations of the Commission in relation to the difficulties experienced by survivors of child sexual abuse in commencing or pursuing civil litigation against institutions and announced the removal of the statutory limitation period for institutional child sexual abuse claims.

In addition, this issues paper (PDF, 579.7 KB) raises for public consultation: whether the removal of limitation periods should be widened to apply to all forms of child abuse rather than only child sexual abuse; whether it should apply more broadly than just to abuse suffered in institutions; and the other civil litigation reform recommendations in the Report in relation to the duty of institutions and the proper defendant issues.

Recently released Whole-of-Government Guidelines (PDF, 215.5 KB) for Queensland Government agencies responding to civil litigation in relation to child sexual abuse already provide that: a defence that a limitation period has expired, or a release or discharge from liability under a deed of release pursuant to the redress scheme following the Forde inquiry, should ordinarily not be relied on, either in formal proceedings or in the course of settlement negotiations.

All interested persons are encouraged to consider this issues paper and to provide feedback to inform the Government’s consideration of these important issues.

To get involved, please provide any comment or submission by 25 October 2016