Duty of Care and the Investigation of Child Sexual Abuse – The Ultimate Australian Solution
Newcastle Law Review, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2002
5 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2013
Date Written: 2002
It is so well established as really not to need detailed documentation that the fact-finding process as it applies to allegations of child sexual abuse has been somewhat confused, at least insofar as it has been interpreted by the High Court of Australia. As is, by now, notorious, that court in M v. M (1988) 166 CLR 69 at 75 devised the test of "unacceptable risk" in such cases without specifying the nature of unacceptability and, indeed, of risk. Unfortunately the general solution has not been clarified or illuminated by the recent decision of that Court in Sullivan v. Moody; Thompson v. Connon (2001) 183 ALR 404, which concerns the existence of a duty of care resulting from investigations into allegations of sexual abuse. Sullivan v Moody involved appeals to the High Court of Australia from two decisions of the Full Court of the Supreme Court of South Australia in Hillman v. Black (1996) 67 SASR 490 and CLT v. Conno (2000) 77 SASR 449.
Keywords: duty of care, child sexual abuse, Sullivan v. Moody
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