Laws clear pathway for child abuse survivors to sue

16 July 2018
Decorative image of legal text book
The Legal Identity of Defendants (Organisational Child Abuse) Act 2018 received Royal Assent on 5 June 2018.

Did you know the law has changed?

The Legal Identity of Defendants (Organisational Child Abuse) Act 2018 received Royal Assent on 5 June 2018. The Act prevents unincorporated organisations from relying upon a legal technicality to avoid civil lawsuits. Under the new laws, unincorporated organisations, including religious institutions, will be given an opportunity to nominate a legal entity with sufficient assets for child abuse survivors to sue.

Why did the law change?

The new laws implement key recommendations from the Victorian Betrayal of Trust Report and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse 2015 Redress and Civil Litigation Report. The new laws build on other legislative changes introduced to remove a range of hurdles faced by child abuse survivors seeking compensation from organisations associated with their abuse.

What happens if an organisation does not comply with the new law?

If an organisation does not comply with the new laws, courts will have the power to appoint the unincorporated organisation’s associated trusts to be sued on their behalf and pay compensation to victims.

Where can I find further information?

View the Legal Identify of Defendants (Organisational Child Abuse) Act 2018

View the media release