The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to keeping communities safe and secure by preventing child abuse and enhancing access to justice for survivors.
Reforms that come into effect this Friday (1 May 2020) will require organisations to improve their child safe practices while making it easier for survivors of child abuse to seek compensation.
The Justice Legislation Amendment (Organisational Liability for Child Abuse) Act 2019 delivers on a key Government commitment to implement a number of recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
From 1 May 2020, all government and non-government organisations that exercise care, supervision or authority over children will be required to introduce more stringent child safe policies, procedures and record-keeping practices to prevent child abuse being perpetrated by an expanded group of individuals associated with the organisation.
The Act also enables survivors of child abuse to sue unincorporated organisations that were previously unable to be sued.
Importantly, a court may now set aside a previous settlement between an organisation and a survivor if it is satisfied it is ‘in the interests of justice to do so’, enabling the survivor to commence civil litigation against the organisation in cases where the survivor believes the previous settlement was unsatisfactory.
Organisations will need to consider and seek advice on the impact of these reforms on their individual organisations.
A fact sheet outlining these legislative reforms is available here.