Image Source: Adelaide Now
The Royal Commission held a preliminary sitting today (pictured above) to outline some aspects of how it will operate. It also announced the appointment of a Junior Counsel Assisting, Melbourne Barrister, Melinda Richards. Approximately 40 appointments have been made so far, with a total of about 100 expected eventually. No further details were provided.
The Chief Commission stated that if is expected that 5,000 victims, at least, will be granted an hour to give their evidence. Over the next five months. All of these hearings will be in private. Reportable data will be quiet until at least September which will disappoint some because the issue will fall off the public radar during that time. He said he had taken the unusual step of conducting a preliminary sitting only to publicly explain the complex process involved in establishing the commission.
Counsel Assisting, Gail “Snow White” Furness, again stressed that the Commission will not be a prosecuting body and will not determine compensation. She told the inquiry that orphanages, schools, churches, parishes, groups such as the scouts, organised sports, childcare centres, detention centres and the defence forces would all come under scrutiny.
Federal Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus, said legal advice would be offered through the National Association of Community Legal Centres on a free nationwide telephone service, with some face-to-face help available in some locations yet to be identified. The service will provide people with legal and procedural advice on issues such as preparing submissions to the commission and advice on the implications of existing confidentiality agreements that might have been entered into by victims of abuse. The free service will also provide advice on legal options in relation to abuse, outside the Royal Commission and civil or criminal law options.
It was also stated that the Commission will probably seek an extension of time to complete its deliberations beyond 2015.
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That’s all I can say
Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)