New Law In Australia Shifts Burden Of Proof From Abuse Victims To Institutions

An article on ABC News reports a new law in Victoria, Australia, which shifts the burden of proof from abuse victims to the institutions in which the abuse took place.

This is a Very Very Good Thing. At the moment, when a child is abused and it’s covered up (or otherwise not addressed) by an institution, the burden of proof is on the child to demonstrate that the abuse took place, and that the organisation knew and did nothing.

This new law means that it’s no longer the victim’s responsibility to prove that they were abused – instead, it’s the organisation’s responsibility to demonstrate that they had enough safeguards in place to prevent abuse from happening, or that there’s a reason why they couldn’t have known it was taking place.

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Summary Justice by John Fairfax

This is a novel that centres around an interesting premise: a barrister working on a murder case, desperate to prove his client’s innocence, is particularly driven because he’s been convicted of murder himself.

Having spent years in jail, William Benson is now out, and has set up his own law firm because no one else will hire him. With the help of Archie, another ex-con, and Tess de Vere, who first met him at his own trial all those years ago, he sets out to demonstrate his client’s innocence in the same court room where he was convicted.

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