Child abuse victims to have free legal advice for Royal Commission


TONY EASTLEY: The full cost of the Royal Commission is yet to be revealed and it will be determined in part by the length of the inquiry.

The Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has announced that child abuse victims giving evidence will have access to a free legal advice service.

It will help people put together submissions to the Royal Commission and provide advice on the options they may have to pursue civil or criminal action.

Mark Dreyfus spoke to Anna Henderson after last night’s Cabinet meeting in Canberra.

MARK DREYFUS: This is a very, very large royal commission and its exact scale is going to start to become clear when the commission holds its first hearing in Melbourne.

ANNA HENDERSON: What is the significance of providing free legal advisory services for people who are engaging with the Royal Commission?

MARK DREYFUS: It’s going to be there to provide people with legal and procedural advice on important issues such as how they go about preparing a submission to the Royal Commission, how they give evidence, what ways they can participate in the hearings.

As well, this free legal advisory service is going to make sure that people have advice on their legal options – not just how they can engage with the Royal Commission but civil law options, criminal law options and of course giving them face-to-face advice, a bit like a duty lawyer, if they are appearing in the Royal Commission.

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