CASE STUDY INVESTIGATIONS
In light of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, we were approached by an
Order of the Church to oversee and critique investigations into the abuse of children. The problem
faced by the Church occurred where complaints had been made against a Priest, Father or Brother,
and where the police had decided not to prosecute, but civil action had been commenced by the
complainant. Civil action cannot make a finding or guilt or innocence, and most often is resolved
through mediation or settlement. In such situations, the subject of the complaint, who had been
stood aside pending determination would remain in limbo and the Church would have nothing to
rely on to determine their future.
We assessed the problem and recommended that the Church establish an Independent Legal Review
Committee comprised of Steve, Tahlia and a Senior Council to both oversee and critique the
investigation process and make recommendations to the Church on what action they should take in
relation to Priest, Father or Brother.
We have now prepared reports in many investigations, with the result in a much improved
investigation process, and in following our recommendations, none have been watered down.