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Introducing Permanent Stays Bill NSW

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse broke open the dark and often unspoken truths of child sexual abuse in a way that henceforth no-one could ever hide behind the protection of saying: “I didn’t know”.

One of the most important recommendations was that the time limitation for reporting child sexual abuse should be removed.

The Royal Commission found that the average survivor took more than 20 years to report the abuse.

However, since the time limitation was abolished, we have seen institutions such as the Roman Catholic Church and the Scouts use a legal tactic called a “permanent stay” to stop matters proceeding through the courts.

This has prevented victims having their day in court – an important part of their healing process.

Last year, the High Court agreed with victims. It said that permanent stays should only be used in “rare and exceptional circumstances”.

Although that decision is important, it remains open to challenge.

We will introduce a Bill into the NSW Parliament this month to change that.

It will ensure certainty for survivors. It will support the important work of the Royal Commission.

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