Addressing Liability for Institutional Child Abuse (Part Two)

This is the second part of a two-part series exploring the responses from the states and territories to the Redress and Civil Litigation Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and the current legislative developments reinforcing the Royal Commission’s recommendations. Part One addressed limitation periods generally and the proposed reforms by the Northern Territory in relation to institutional liability and a non-delegable reverse onus duty of care. Part Two addresses specific legislation from South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory to implement removal of limitation periods and institutional liability respectively.

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South Australia Child Protection Framework Starts: What are Your New Obligations?

On 22 October 2018, all schools in South Australia will need to comply with the new child protection framework, consisting of three new Acts and three new Regulations. To make matters more complex, the current Child Protection Act 1993 (SA) will be phased out gradually to enable the new framework to commence in parts. Schools should be aware that, in the first part of commencement of the framework, there are new definitions of “children at risk” and “harm”, as well as additional neglect and grooming offences, resulting in increased obligations for mandatory reporting for all teachers, employees and volunteers at the school.

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Addressing Liability for Institutional Child Abuse (Part One)

This is the first part of a two-part series exploring the responses from the states and territories to the Redress and Civil Litigation Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and the current legislative developments reinforcing the Royal Commission’s recommendations. Part One addresses the federal National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse and the Northern Territory consultation paper for implementing civil litigation reforms. Part Two addresses new legislation in the ACT and SA responding to limitation of actions and civil liability.

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New laws on bullying: Schools under increased pressure to do more

Even if you subscribe to the controversial school of thought that bullying is an ‘inevitable’ interaction, that it is ‘part of growing up’ and ‘builds character’, it is uncontested that being bullied, particularly at a young age, can have very serious consequences for a child’s wellbeing, development and overall mental health. It is hence little wonder that bullying and harassment are taken very seriously by schools.

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South Australia’s revolutionary approach to child abuse and forced marriage

As reported in the news, a Melbourne man is set to be the first person convicted under Federal forced marriage laws despite the practice being criminalised in 2013. Because the laws make it extremely difficult to get a conviction (as they generally rely on victims testifying), South Australia has taken an unprecedented step of introducing a child marriage offence as part of its new raft of child protection changes.

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SA Registration Standards come into effect: What will this mean for schools?

The first half of 2017 has been marked by multiple ongoing overhauls to school registration systems. So far this year, the Western Australian Standards for Non-Government Schools took effect, key changes to the NSW School Registration Manuals and TAA Guidelines were introduced, and on 25 June the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 (Vic) took effect, amending the minimum standards which Victorian schools must satisfy to be registered.  The new Education Act 2016 (Tas) commenced on 10 July and changes will affect the registration of Tasmanian system and individual schools.

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Child Protection Overhaul: another piece of SA’s new child protection framework finalised 

A few months ago, School Governance reported on the introduction of the Children and Young People (Safety) Bill 2017 (the Bill) into the South Australian Parliament. After nearly four months of intense debate in both the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council, the oft-criticised Bill passed the Legislative Assembly in the early hours of 6 July.  According to Attorney-General John Rau: “These laws mean greater protection for children, a stronger voice for foster carers and a clear direction on how government agencies must act when a child is at risk.”

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