The New South Wales Government has made amendments to the Limitation Act in New South Wales to remove time barriers for commencing proceedings for the victims of child abuse.
The Government has introduced Section 6A which applies to cases for damages relating to, “the death of or personal injury to a person resulting from an act or omission that constitutes child abuse of the person”. This applies to cases where the abuse occurred before the victim turned 18 years.
The Government has also introduced transitional provisions which allow child abuse damages claims to be brought whether or not a previous action had been commenced. The Supreme Court has been given the power to set aside any pre-existing Judgment which was entered into at a time when the victim of child abuse had the disadvantage of the Limitation Laws applying. What this means, is that providing the Court is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so, a person who has previously entered into a settlement may have the case reopened. This may be very important where a case has been lost by the victim of child abuse because of the Limitation Laws and the victim has been ordered to pay the costs of the Defendant. There is now scope to recover any previous costs order that may have been made.
This opens the door for the unfortunate victims of child sexual assault to obtain justice from the Courts unrestricted by concerns about whether or not the limitation period applies.
At BPC we have represented clients in many cases over the last 20 years for the victims of child sexual assault. We continue to take instructions to commence proceedings for those deserving compensation due to atrocities committed as child victims.