Time Limits Removed for Victims of Child Sexual Abuse

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On Tuesday night the Queensland Parliament unanimously passed legislation to remove the civil statutory time limit for victims of sexual abuse (see our discussion of the amendments here). The amendments will abolish the previous three year limit to initiate a civil action. The removal of the time limit will now allow victims to pursue those responsible regardless of how long ago the alleged abuse took place.

The Queensland amendments are a direct response to the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. One of the Commission’s recommendations was for the removal of the limitation period under the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse to bring personal injury claims. The passing of Limitation of Actions (Institutional Child Sexual Abuse) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016  comes as the Federal Government announced a compensation scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse.

Member for Cairns, Mr Rob Pyne MP, also introduced a private members Bill with similar removal provisions that extended to claims for serious physical abuse, but did not receive sufficient support from the Government or the Opposition.