Child sex abuse: Queensland considers reform for other victims to seek justice

Brisbane Times

Amy Remeikis

Having taken steps to remove legal barriers stopping institutionalised child sex abuse survivors from applying to have their civil cases heard in the courts, the state government is considering broadening the reforms to encompass other victims.

The removal of the statute of limitations for those who suffered sexual abuse while in state institutions opens the way for those victims to apply to the court for damages.

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said the state would adopt a “model litigant” attitude, meaning it would not use the statute as an excuse for why a case should not go ahead before the legislation making it official is passed.

In cases where it is a litigant, the government will also allow those who have previously received damages – such as in the Forde Inquiry redress scheme – to move forward with civil cases.

Queensland has followed in the footsteps of New South Wales and Victoria in following the recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and removing the statute of limitations, with the ACT government also announcing on Monday it would follow suit.

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