Today the High Court decided in a 3:2 decision that the law needed to adapt to modern standards and not prevent survivors of child sexual abuse from being able to have a trial of their matter, even if the perpetrator of their abuse died before the allegations were put to them.
The majority of the Court considered that when Parliament passed laws removing the time limitation to bring Court proceedings in such cases, Parliament imposed its own normative requirements on proceedings of this kind and that the Court must do the same.
The majority of the Court made the point that the Parliament can’t have intended to "lift one barrier to justice for survivors of child abuse" in recognition that such abuse "can forever alter the course of people's lives and continue to cause trauma and hardship for decades", and that "due to the injuries inflicted on them by their abusers, survivors of sexual and other child abuse often take decades to understand and act on the harm arising from the abuse"
And on the other hand, for the common and expected effects of the passing of those years or decades, in and of themselves, to suffice to constitute the "exceptional circumstances" justifying a court stopping the Court proceedings before a trial.
The Court described the topic of a fair trial in child sexual abuse claims as “a new world” and at MKF lawyers we agree with that description.
If you have been sexually abused as a child and you feel like now is the time to do something about it, please contact us for expert advice on your prospect of success in securing compensation. We usually work on a no win, no fee basis and offer a free initial discussion about your claim.
You can request a confidential, free claim check by calling us on 08 7093 2998 or by submitting an online enquiry via our website at mkflawyers.com.au/abuselawfreeclaimcheck