The NSW Enquiry Goes Underground (Or: All Quiet on the Western Front)

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Cathedral for the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese (Image source: http://www.newcastlecatholic.org.au/page8078/Sacred-Heart-Cathedral.aspx)

The NSW enquiry into clerical sexual abuse in the Hunter Region, and attempts to cover up events there, will go into closed session under certain circumstances. Commissioner Cunneen (see previous posting) had previously said that victim statements will be heard in private. Now, this has been extended to any evidence which may result in criminal proceedings. The reason given is that pre-publicity may compromise the judicial process. This is a bit of a departure from the Royal Commission’s approach, which will not necessarily concern itself with future prosecutions directly. Presumably, the Commissioner, Ms. Cunneen, is anticipating some prosecutions, based on preliminary information. This is a good sign which outweighs restrictions on public information. Time will tell.

Commissioner Cunneen also made an order restricting witness statements from being circulated outside the inquiry’s direct participants, or being used for purposes other than conducting the inquiry itself.

Public hearings should begin in May and are much anticipated.

[Postscript: Detective Inspector Peter Fox should be the next Australian of the Year.]

TOMORROW: The horror that was Bindoon

That’s all I can say

Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)

 

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