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Lawyers call for royal commission into child abuse

Lawyers call for royal commission into child abuse

A legal professional body has called for a royal commission into child sexual abuse in religious institutions. _x000D_

A legal professional body has called for a royal commission into child sexual abuse in religious institutions.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance deman comes after Anglican Bishop Brian Farran supported an open inquiry.

Newcastle Anglican Bishop, Farran, publicly announced the defrocking of three senior priests following several sexual allegations.

He also banned another priest from the ministry for five years as well as a former church worker in a lay position.

His announcement came with a request that police renew their investigations into conduct of those clergy.

Farran also called for an open public inquiry into child sexual abuse in religious institutions.

The ALA acknowledges the difficulty for Bishop Farran to respond in such a way.

“We thank him for his dedication to justice and transparency. Such choices require courage,” said ALA spokesperson Dr Andrew Morrison SC.

The ALA renews its calls for a royal commission on this issue.

“To date, the Premier’s only response has been to say he will await a Victorian parliamentary inquiry as he was concerned about interfering with police investigations,” said Morrison.

“The Victorian inquiry is limited to Victoria. Internal church inquiries are manifestly inadequate,” Morrison said.

“Royal commissions can and do deal with the problem of continuing police inquiries and often make helpful findings and recommendations for these inquiries.

"If we wait until all outstanding police inquiries are completed, there will never be an inquiry into what is a very large and systemic problem,” he said.

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