About this blog

The authors of this blog are lawyers or consultants employed by the RCT Group of companies, which includes staff who work mainly within our Stringer Clark offices.

From time to time, we may also invite guest bloggers to contribute, in which case this will be made clear. Authors who are part of the RCT Group are qualified to practice law in Victoria, Australia. Any advice applies to Victorian State law as at the date of first publication. The information is a general guide only and is not a substitute for legal advice applicable to a user's own circumstances.

Residents of other Australian States or Territories or countries are advised to seek legal advice from a lawyer practising in their own area, as laws may vary from region to region.

Recent Authors

Christian Farrelly

Christian Farrelly is a solicitor whose professional focus is superannuation. He also has an interest in commercial and criminal law and wills and probate.

Michael Burdess

Michael Burdess joined Stringer Clark in early 2006 and practices in the area of personal injury including WorkSafe and TAC.

Creon Coolahan

Creon Coolahan is a solicitor in our Warrnambool office and has extensive experience in a range of practice areas with a focus on injury law and employment issues.

Penny Savidis

Penny Savidis is an Partner of the firm and practices predominantly in the area of employment law.

Angela Sdrinis

Angela Sdrinis is a senior partner with Ryan Carlisle Thomas. She is an LIV Accredited Specialist in Personal Injuries with extensive experience in Comcare matters.

Tag results for: sexual abuse

Sexual abuse in the Australian Defence forces – what we must do in the wake of the DLA Piper Review

The DLA Piper Review of allegations of sexual and other abuse in Defence (the Review) confirms what many of us who have worked in the areas of military compensation and sexual abuse have long known.

The Department of Defence is completely unable to deal with the "cancer" of abuse and bastardisation within its ranks because of cultural and systemic issues.

The Review is a first step hopefully in leading to justice and healing for the victims, punishment of the perpetrators (including for those...

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The Baillieu Government parliamentary inquiry into sexual abuse

Process is fatally flawed, according to sexual abuse legal expert, Angela Sdrinis.

The Victorian Government's parliamentary inquiry into the way in which religious organisations handle sexual abuse complaints will lack the necessary powers to expose the systemic cover up that has characterised mainstream religion's approach to abuse.

The failure to appoint a Royal Commission will dismay many victims and is a missed opportunity to force organisations to come clean. It does not do justice to the dozens of victims who have been driven to commit suicide as a result of finding it impossible to obtain...

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Wards of the State:

New Ombudsman's report slams DHS records on sexual abuse

The Victorian Ombudsman has had a busy time of it recently and, in the flurry of reports handed down, one has escaped attention. Yet its findings are so damning of the lapses of a major government department that you could be accused of thinking that the Department is effectively blocking access to justice for victims of sexual abuse.

Drily titled, Investigation into the storage and management of ward records by the Department of Human Services, the report exposes what those of us who work in this area have...

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Time running out for Irish Abuse Claims

In 2002, the Republic of Ireland set up a fund to compensate people who experienced abuse and neglect in Orphanages and Residential Schools in the last century.

The decision to set up the Redress Fund followed a public outcry when the extent of the abuse in Orphanages came to light and particularly in response to revelations that the Catholic Church, which ran many of the Institutions, had been instrumental in hiding the truth which led to continued abuse of children both in and out of care.

After four reports investigating the abuse scandal in the...

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New 120 million euro German abuse fund – applications now available

The German Government has established a committee which is looking at creating a fund to compensate German children abused in care. The proposed fund has been in the planning for the last 2 years and is expected to be established by the end of this year. Some churches have already agreed to establish funds individually and the Catholic Church has announced it will pay victims an amount of 5,000 euros (less than AU $7,000.00).

The plan is to create a federal fund financed by the state, churches and other organisations to...

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Why does the church continue to rely on technical legal defenses?

Angela Sdrinis reports on the case of serial sexual abuser,
Br. Robert Best.

In further media coverage of Christian Brother Robert Best, it is reported that he has pleaded guilty to numerous further offences against children who he had sexually abused while teaching at St Alipius primary school in Ballarat.

It is well known that during this period, Br. Best resided with notorious paedophile priest Gerard Ridsdale and for a period of time with the current Archbishop of Sydney George Pell.

Best was first convicted of offences against children in 1996. He...

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Litigation has failed the victims of institutional abuse

It’s time the Government set up a compensation fund.

On 16 November 2009, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised to Forgotten Australians and to the child migrants. Kevin Rudd had already apologised to the Stolen Generations on 13 February 2008. This Apology was one of the first major initiatives of the new Rudd Labour Government. It was an apology that was embraced by the Australian people and an apology for which we had waited too long.

Three harrowing reports on the lives of children in care, including Bringing Them Home, dealing with the Stolen...

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High Court decision offers Catholic Church immunity in sexual abuse cases

A controversial High Court decision has effectively offered immunity from prosecution for sexual abuse cases brought against the Catholic Church in Australia.

The ruling and the way in which the Church has defended itself make a mockery of public apologies offered to victims of sexual abuse by the Church and heaps further pain on victims.

As a result of this decision, the Australian public should be concerned by the notion that the quality of justice for rape victims should be dependent on the rapists' employer, writes RCT partner Angela Sdrinis in an...

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