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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.