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Published: 08 April 2019
Author: Amy Olver
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has just announced a $528 million Royal Commission which will examine the abuse and neglect of disabled people within Australia (‘the Disability Abuse Royal Commission’). The Inquiry will examine abuse and neglect occurring in a wide breadth of circumstances including but not limited to institutions, schools, workplaces and the community in general.
Much like the recent Child Abuse Royal Commission, this inquiry will have some of the most vulnerable people in our society as its focus and therefore, while it is predicted the Commission will need $379 million, a further $149 million has been set aside to assist in providing the relevant support services to those affected such as counselling.
According to the terms of reference, the Disability Abuse Royal Commission will consider the following issues:
The Commission also has scope to look at any matter reasonably incidental to the above or that the Commissioners deem reasonably relevant to the inquiry.
Much like the Child Abuse Royal Commission, the Disability Abuse Royal Commission will make recommendations for proposed changes to the current system at its conclusion.
Ryan Carlisle Thomas has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from those survivors who engaged with the Child Abuse Royal Commission. For many, it was the first time they had found a safe space to share their experiences. Survivors described having their feelings validated and being believed. We very much hope that this sentiment is felt by those who are brave enough to share their experiences with the newly announced Royal Commission.
Ryan Carlisle Thomas has represented numerous people who have disabilities in claims for compensation regarding abuse they have suffered. Their cases often bring with them unique legal and practical complexities, particularly where the disability affects the survivor’s ability to communicate.
It has been necessary in a number of cases to appoint legal guardians and engage experts to provide evidence in support of the survivor. It is hoped that the Commission will consider these barriers to accessing justice.
The powers of a Royal Commission are far-reaching and the impact of their findings can be too. Our specialist sexual abuse team will be following the progression of the Disability Abuse Royal Commission and providing comment via our legal blogs.
If you'd like to make an enquiry about a legal matter, talk about a career at RCT, or perhaps have a suggestion on how we can improve our service or even our website, we'd like to hear from you.
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