What Does the Pell Verdict Mean for Child Sexual Abuse Victims?
There is a famous legal principle, usually attributed to eighteenth-century English jurist William Blackstone, ‘It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.’ How does that sit with historical cases where a cleric is accused of child sexual abuse?
Ascertaining child sexual abuse to the required standard of proof in a criminal trial—beyond reasonable doubt—is difficult. Three years ago the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released a 628-page report about the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in child sexual abuse cases; it listed four significant impediments:
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