It’s now easier for child abuse survivors to sue institutions

Published Wednesday, 23 October, 2019 at 01:21 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

The Palaszczuk Government has passed major reforms to make it easier for the survivors of all kinds of child abuse to sue the institutions where the offences occurred.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the amendments to the Civil Liability and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2018 extends the definition of abuse to include serious physical and psychological abuse, as well as sexual abuse.

“The passing of this legislation means it’s now easier for child abuse survivors to claim for civil damages or personal injury, now and in the future,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“We have removed the loopholes which institutions were using to avoid being sued.

“A defendant can now be appointed in claims against unincorporated institutions, and survivors can target the assets of associated trusts of the institution.

“We have also removed the limitation periods for survivors to commence a civil action against an institution.

“Survivors can now seek damages for serious physical abuse and psychological abuse as well as child sexual abuse.

“To try and prevent new abuses, there will now be a reverse onus duty on institutions.

“They will have to prove they took all reasonable steps to prevent the sexual abuse of children in their care to avoid legal liability.”

Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women Di Farmer welcomed the reforms, which she said will provide another avenue for people who have experienced institutional child abuse to seek justice.

“These reforms are especially important to people who experienced physical or psychological abuse while in institutions in Queensland, as it will give them a way to seek compensation for the suffering they have experienced,” she said.