Four Corners – In The Name Of The Law

Royal Commission Child Sexual Abuse Four Corners.jpg

Flickr Image Courtesy Janus Serendipity

They were sexually abused by the clergy and then found themselves targeted by the Church’s lawyers. Why did it happen and who was responsible for the strategy?

Famous Australian Investigative Journalism Program Four Corners, recently dedicated an episode to questions surrounding the institutional response to child abuse victims.

Reporter Quentin McDermott reveals the systematic way the Catholic Church sought to conceal the sexual abuse of children, using lawyers to minimise the potential financial impact to the organisation. Quentin delves into the evidence to pose a serious of staggering question

  • Just why did this sexual abuse happen?
  • How could institutions have allowed predators to re-offend?
  • Why were victims targeted by church lawyers?
  • Who was responsible for this strategy?

After speaking to victims, their families, church representatives and whistleblows, it becomes clear that the key objective of the church has been to minimise the financial costs of these case.

The results are clear. The incompetence is stark. The inhumane ethos of the church’s senior management is chilling. The program is well worth watching, the story is well worth telling.

View the story http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2014/08/11/4062942.htm

About Peter Kelso


I am a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. I have been admitted to practice since 1984. I am the principal and founder of Kelso Lawyers which has operated in Newcastle since 1986.

I have been an advocate for compensation for victims of abuse since the commencement of the Victims Compensation Tribunal in New South Wales in 1988. I conduct the largest victims practice in New South Wales. I have a high level of engagement with numerous NGOs such as woman’s refuges, sexual assault services, community organisations and healing centres.

On 31 October 2012 I was a finalist for the Justice Medal, presented by the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales.


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