Page 3957 - Week 10 - Thursday, 20 September 2018

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This bill is part of a suite of reforms to make civil litigation a more accessible means of providing justice for survivors of institutional child abuse. The government has already addressed in full the royal commission’s recommendations about limitation periods. That was achieved by removing limitation periods for civil actions for child abuse in the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002 and the Limitation Act 1985. Future reforms will include a focus on the royal commission’s recommendations about the legal duties of institutions.

This bill recognises that changes in civil law need to occur so that significant procedural barriers no longer prevent plaintiffs of child sexual abuse from full consideration of the merits of their claim.

Alongside the reforms being made to the legislation to support civil actions by survivors, the ACT government is actively engaged in the implementation of the national redress scheme. The scheme recognises the harm that is caused by child sexual abuse, and offers avenues for survivors in order to alleviate the impact of past sexual abuse. The redress scheme is non-adversarial. It sits alongside a traditional lawsuit as a way that our community is recognising its failures and is taking responsibility.

The ACT government is moving swiftly to implement all of the royal commission recommendations as a priority, and this bill is one part of that important body of work. Through our civil laws, our criminal laws and in our services we will be doing everything that we can to help survivors rebuild their lives and to prevent abuse in the future. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Courts and Other Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 (No 2)

Debate resumed from 2 August 2018, on motion by Mr Ramsay:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (4.27): It will be of no surprise to the Assembly that the Canberra Liberals will be supporting this bill. This bill is the government’s response to the Magistrates Court (Retirement Age of Magistrates) Amendment Bill 2018, introduced by me to extend the compulsory retirement age of magistrates from the current 65 to 70 years in line with the Supreme Court and special magistrates. I stated when I tabled that bill that the time had come. With the passage of this bill today it actually has, which is a good thing.

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