26 September 2023

New child protection laws target institutions

Start the conversation

New laws that aim to address past injustices and better protect South Australian children have been passed, removing barriers to civil redress identified by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Announced by Acting Attorney-General, Josh Teague, the new measures include reversing the onus of proof so that an institution will be held liable for abuse committed by associated persons or an employee where the institution supplied the occasion for the abuse, and the employee took advantage of it (known as vicarious liability).

Mr Teague said the new laws also included holding institutions vicariously liable for people who were akin to employees (but not actually employed by the institution) and removing the legal shield for unincorporated associations to avoid legal liability.

They also enable survivors whose settlements were unfair to apply to the court to have the settlement set aside.

Mr Teague said the changes were the result of years of campaigning by survivors and advocacy groups.

“Thank you to all those who advocated for this important reform,” he said.

“It sends a clear message to institutions who turn a blind eye to child sexual abuse; this conduct will not be tolerated.

“We cannot rewrite history – but we can ensure it does not repeat itself, and these changes will contribute to realising that intent,” Mr Teague said.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.