Families of clergy abuse victims’ new legal precedent paves way for litigation

Families of clergy abuse victims’ new legal precedent paves way for litigation

(AUSTRALIA)
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC [Sydney, Australia]

August 26, 2022

By Laura Mayers

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[Photo above: Ballarat lawyer Ingrid Irwin attends a rally outside Victorian Parliament earlier this year. Supplied: Twitter]

A Supreme Court ruling in relation to a lawsuit levelled against the Catholic Church has been heralded as a potential new precedent for loved ones of alleged victims of clergy abuse.

Key points:

  • Court this week ruled the Catholic Church cannot use “Ellis defence” in a Melbourne lawsuit
  • The Catholic Archdiocese has acknowledged the ruling as the lawsuit proceeds
  • Lawyers across the state say it will “pave the way” for a legal precedent

The court this week ruled the Catholic Church could not use a legal argument pertaining to the so-called Ellis defence.

The defence was named for choirboy John Ellis and prevented abuse survivors from suing unincorporated organisations such as the church.

The ruling came after a lawsuit levelled at the Church and Cardinal George Pell by a father of one of Pell’s accusers, who…


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