Religious Confessions and Child Protection Reporting (Part One)

Upcoming and proposed changes to child protection laws could bring the mandatory reporting expectations of the clergy in line with those of teachers, medical professionals and others in positions of authority. However, the legal requirements associated with child abuse disclosures made during religious confession still vary between jurisdictions.

Read More...

Slavery alive and well in Australia: NSW Modern Slavery Bill set to pass

It has been reported that slavery has never been a bigger problem in Australia than it is right now. With the Modern Slavery Bill 2018 recently passing the NSW Legislative Council, NSW is set to be the first jurisdiction to legislate on modern slavery, requiring schools to adjust their curriculum offerings and train staff on the new concepts and criminal offences.

Read More...

Student Consent: Part 2 – Permission Forms, Medical Treatment and Privacy: What can students agree to?

Informed consent is a core component of the school experience, and schools need to have a strong understanding of consent laws and students in order to consider whether students have the capacity to make agreements.

Read More...

ACT Enacts New Grooming Offences: What do They Mean for Schools?

The ACT has ushered in 2018 by passing substantial amendments to its child protection legislation, which have now become law. These changes come at a time when incidents of teachers abusing students is increasingly in the news. Some of the changes directly address teacher conduct that breaches the teacher/student duty of care relationship.

Read More...

Changes to ACT Child Protection: Reportable Conduct Scheme and New Grooming Offences

Prior to the conclusion of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) in December 2017, November was a flurry of regulatory activity in the Australian Capital Territory, with various changes to the Territory’s child protection system proposed and introduced. As other jurisdictions prepare themselves for responding to the Royal Commission’s Final Report, and the extent to which they will be taking the final recommendations into account, the ACT is under the spotlight as we consider the effectiveness of its attempts to pioneer reforms and expand its child protection system.

Read More...

Victoria amends Crimes Act sexual offence laws: What schools should know

On 1 July 2017, the Crimes Amendment (Sexual Offences) Act 2016 (Vic) (the Amending Act) takes effect to strengthen existing sexual offence laws to better protect children from abuse. The Act was passed in the Victorian Parliament in September 2016 and reforms more than 50 sexual offences in the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) (Crimes Act). […]

Read More...