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RC Church in Australia accused again of aggressive tactics with abuse survivors

10 March 2023

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LAW firms in Australia are again accusing the Roman Catholic Church of an aggressive approach to claims of sexual abuse by survivors of deceased paedophiles (News, 18 November 2022).

The Church is seeking permanent stays several cases after a decision last year by the New South Wales (NSW) Supreme Court that the Church could not receive a fair trial in a case where the alleged abuser had died. The Supreme Court’’s decision is currently under appeal to the Australian High Court.

In the latest case, the order of Marist Brothers is seeking a permanent stay on a claim by a man who alleges that he was assaulted by a paedophile at a Marist Brothers’ school in 1969 and 1970. The alleged perpetrator, who was sentenced to a long prison term for assaulting 17 victims, died before the recent claim was made in 2021. The order is saying that it cannot receive a fair trial.

Lawyers for the claimant have been unsuccessful in an attempt to delay the hearing until the High Court makes its decision.

An NSW lawyer, Danielle De Paoli, has been quoted as saying that the impact of the decision to grant a permanent stay had been detrimental to claimants, who saw it as yet another “underhanded tactic” by the Church to push their problems away. It added to their trauma, she said.

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