State Government hides behind limitation period to deny compensation to sexual assault victims

Six former residents of the Bethcar Children’s Home have bravely given evidence to the Royal Commission today telling of the devastating impact of the sickening sexual and physical abuse they were subjected to at the Home. The rest of the hearing will focus heavily on the State Government’s response to a class action of 15 former residents. For 4 years the State refused to participate in mediation and hid behind the limitation period. Less than a month after the announcement of the Royal Commission the State agreed to withdraw the limitation defence and enter into mediation. Most of the victims later accepted $107,000 in damages. By that stage the State had spent nearly a million dollars of taxpayer’s money defending the claims.

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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