Australian Federal Police

Child Abuse Royal Commissioner Justice Peter McClellan outlines failures of judges and prosecutors

In a speech on the 13th of April 2017 the Chairman of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, The Hon Justice Peter McClellan AM, raised issues regarding the failure of judges and prosecutors to do their jobs properly and therefore fail victims of child sex abuse.

Justice Peter McClellan is also a NSW Supreme Court judge and it is almost unheard of for judges to criticise their fellow judges so it is a big call. And as I have reported in the last few posts it is not just members of the public that are raising issues of judicial failings and corruption. Many members of the legal fraternity are also raising issues themselves as the problem is now out of control.

Justice Peter McClellan AM

How widespread is child abuse in Australia?

The Child Abuse Royal Commission has documented facts and figures which cannot be disputed that demands action with judicial reform and a broader inquiry into the Australian judiciary.

The Royal Commission Chairman Justice Peter McClellan has given 2 recent speeches in March and April 2017 that outline failings by judges and prosecutors in child abuse cases. (Click here and here to read more)

From the SMH:

Thousands of institutions have been implicated in allegations of child sexual abuse, according to new data released by a royal commission.

As the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse commences its final public hearing, chairman Justice Peter McClellan has urged child protection reform and proper redress for victims.

The $500 million inquiry is Australia’s longest royal commission, starting in 2013 and due to finish with a final report to the federal government in December.

In his opening remarks to the hearing, Justice McClellan said governments and institutions needed to focus on redress and regulatory changes, “designed to ensure that so far as possible no child is abused in an institutional context in the future”.

“Survivors have waited too long for an effective response to their suffering and the future protection of Australian children must be given the highest priority,” he said.

Justice McClellan and five commissioners have heard the testimony of more than 6500 child sexual abuse survivors in private sessions, with another 2000 people still awaiting a meeting.

Data gleaned largely from private sessions found there were more than 4000 institutions where alleged abuse of children occurred.

Counsel assisting the commission Gail Furness SC told the inquiry the statistics are likely to represent a fraction of child sexual abuse survivors. (Click here to read more)

Cardinal George Pell and his infamous line while giving evidence at the Royal Commission about paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale abusing children “It’s a sad story and it wasn’t of much interest to me. (Click here to read more)

Sentencing – “More child sexual assault cases in court but fewer convictions: Justice Peter McClellan”

Light sentences for people convicted of historical sexual offences against children could “undermine community confidence in the administration of justice”, the chairman of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will tell a conference of leading legal professionals. (Click here to read more)

Nothing could be truer. One of the most read articles on this website is titledPaedophile priest gets 3 months jail for raping 3 boys by NSW Supreme Court’s Justice Hoeben. The reason it is so well-read is that it does scandalise the courts when criminals such as paedophile priests get almost no sentence at all and the general public can’t believe it is true.

10-year minimum sentence

Compare the 3-month sentence for the paedophile priest in NSW with the precedents in South Australia where the starting point is 10 and 12 years as quoted by Justice Peter McClellan and it shows what a scandal 3-month sentence is:

In R v D a majority of the South Australian Court of Criminal Appeal held that heavier sentences should be imposed for child sexual abuse matters. They held that unlawful sexual intercourse with children under 12, when there are multiple offences committed over a period of time, should attract as a starting point a head sentence of about 12 years subject to a guilty plea, co-operation with the police, genuine contrition and other mitigating factors. In relation to unlawful sexual intercourse with children over 12 the starting point should be a head sentence of about 10 years imprisonment. Doyle CJ considered the court should take this course ‘because of the seriousness of the crime in question, and because of its prevalence.’ (Click here to read more)

Justice McClellan said that light sentences “undermine community confidence in the administration of justice” and I said basically the same thing in court, only stronger language, and I get charged with contempt of court. (Click here and here to read more) I wonder if Justice McClellan will now be charged with contempt of court?

Some of the recommendations flagged by Justice Peter McClellan for his final report to the Federal Government are:

As part of its criminal justice work the Commission is considering whether oversight or review mechanisms for ODDPs are necessary in the Australian context and, if so, what they might look like.

The Commissioners consider that all Australian DPPs should be able to implement a number of minimum requirements. Those requirements are:

  1. The adoption of comprehensive written policies for decision-making and consultation with victims and police.
  2. Ensuring that all policies are publically available and published online.
  3. Provision of a right for complainants to seek written reasons for key decisions. (Click here to read more)

The failure of judges and prosecutors in this area of law is duplicated across most if not all areas of law and that is why a Royal Commission into the Australian judiciary is long overdue. Obviously, it is a Royal Commission that would need oversight from non-judges and non-lawyers if it was to get to the truth.

We need better review processes of decision-making by law enforcement agencies such as the Australian Federal Police

The child abuse Royal Commission is a great example because it is well-funded and has been going since 2013 and reports are well researched. The documented findings show without doubt the failings of the judiciary, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to do their jobs.

This extends to federal parliament that is badly in need of a Federal ICAC to deal with federal corruption as the Federal Police regularly fail to charge politicians and federal government employees who have broken the law.

Times are changing fast and social media is empowering people to have oversight of all government decisions to some degree but we can still do a lot better. The Australian judiciary and law enforcement agencies are operating well below public expectations in doing their jobs so we need a major overhaul.

Please use the Twitter, Facebook and email etc. buttons below and help promote this post.

Kangaroo Court of Australia is an independent website and is reliant on donations to keep publishing. If you would like to support the continuance of this site, please click on the button below to donate via PayPal or go to the donations page for other donation options. (Click here to go to the Donations page)

If you would like to follow this website, you can by email notification at the top right of this page and about twice a week you will be notified when there is a new article.

Thank you for your support.

11 replies »

  1. It is still to be seen how effective the RC into child abuse is. The states and federal governments have been dragging their feet in regards to the recommendations made by the RC. The point of RC’s in Australia is investigative for change, but if the governments dont implement that change it is nothing more than very expensive political rhetoric at the taxpayers expense.

    What is coming out of the RC into child abuse is nothing short of scandalous, but the outcome of it could be even more so if nothing is done at the political level. The poison is in the roots. We still have not heard any more action about the political and judicial peodophiles on Bill Heffernan’s list.

    • Maybe its time to PRESS for Bill Heffernan’s list?? Given the RC has several months to continue, maybe its time to see who’s on this list??

      Surely the Australian Public has a right to know how many SC & HC judges are on this LIST !! If these individuals are not EXPOSED how can we have any confidence the kids of the future will better protected againsts suchs GRUBS…

      Further, the sentencing laws are SHAMEFUL… Look at what EXTREMES that will go to in order to SILENCE (SD). Not sure what CRIME he has comitted, other than to STAND up for his legal rights and publish some facts, that no mainstream MEDIA will do..

      Put simply, the juducial system and the adminstrators of justice is embarrassing and while GRUBS hold senior positions, no RC will achieve anything if Policies and Legislation do undergo significant change..

      • I spoke with Heffernan shortly after the existence of his list was made public and I understand that McClennan told him to take a hike Noddy as he (Heffernan) should have been aware that the image of the judiciary and ex prime ministers must be protected at all cost.

    • One should take care with reports: search:
      Episode 40, ABC media watch 2.11.15!
      For adults only.

      Something wrong with a general search for episode 40, 2.11.15. Different story.
      Search :’Fiona Barnett ABC media watch’.

  2. Very few people dare to challenge the power of the elite and those that do usually pay a heavy price for their integrity.
    Royal Commissions tend to be cover ups or purely an exercise in pacifying the public with no outcomes.
    Queensland recently held a judicial inquiry into Organised Crime – realised that Organised Crime had been openly running massive scams from the Gold Coast for a decade under the direct supervision of the police and then removed all investigators from the cases even when evidence was provided of massive scams.
    Little doubt that political protection of Organised Crime is alive and well in Queensland.
    Of course those who complain or were instrumental in forcing the inquiry now receive death threats to keep quiet whilst the Government removes the investigators and hands the investigations back to the very people who allowed or worked with the Organised Crime groups.
    Notice the Wolf of Wall Street is moving to Queensland – he worked with and for at least one of the Organised Crime Syndicates in Australia – the police and investigators know this but still allow the CRIMINAL into the country – WHAT A JOKE

    THERE IS NO JUSTICE IN AUSTRALIA – the courts, politicians and police can be bought by Organised Crime

  3. It took a long time for one of the Judiciary to admit therer is a cultural problem from within, it is unfortunate that he has not identified the third wise monkey, that is the defence lawyers who are there for the money and run this obscene game. Our political parties simply do not care and have been corrupted, they most likely will not come to the party unless they are dragged kicking and screaming to the bath tub. A Royal Commission will be run by the lawyers, not by human beings and will not address the major cultural issue which is that the laws of Australia do not respect family or community which leaves the family exposed to exploitation. The Child Abuse Royal Commission has lifted the carpet and exposed the rot and the vermin that lie beneath, but as a community we must become the exterminator and the repairer because to put our trust in anyone else will result in a similar outcome to the one we now face.

  4. Who of the elite will take the nose out of the trough ,show strength and turn whistleblower which may start the downfall of this present day corrupt system.The Robin Hoods will win in the end.

  5. The greatest problem influencing sentencing are the sentencing guidelines, which are the product of reviewing actual sentencing and finding a mean starting sentence. Unfortunately decisions such as 3 months imprisonment lower the mean bar, which has gradually seen the erosion of the severity of head sentencing generally.

Leave a Reply