find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
ADF sex scandal prompts fresh claims

ADF sex scandal prompts fresh claims

Slater & Gordon's military compensation team has received a significant increase in inquiries in the wake of the latest Australian Defence Force (ADF) Skype sex scandal. The leader of Slater…

Slater & Gordon's military compensation team has received a significant increase in inquiries in the wake of the latest Australian Defence Force (ADF) Skype sex scandal.

The leader of Slater & Gordon's military compensation practice Brian Briggs said the widespread media coverage over the Skype incident has helped individuals to feel more confident in coming forward.

"There has been a significant increase in new client enquiries. Not hundreds or thousands but it's only early days yet. The enquiries are coming out of the woodwork and some are ones that we wouldn't normally see coming through," he said. "Certainly, they're probably not as hesitant to come forward and make claims."

The flood of inquiries comes as the Defence Minister Stephen Smith this week admitted on Channel 10's Meet the Press that the Commonwealth Government may be liable for incidences of abuse and sexual assault, amid claims that abuse in the ADF may go back as far as 40 years.

"There is a distinct possibility, either in individual cases or more generally, that through the Department of Defence or through the services, there is a Commonwealth liability here," Smith told Channel 10.

"That is why I say we need to proceed carefully. We need to make sure we respect all the rights of the people who are either complaining or raising issues."

Amid talk of a class action, Smith claimed that any allegations of mistreatment will be referred to an external group of lawyers for an initial assessment.

"I do not rule out in that context any further legal or judicial activity so far as those complaints or allegations are concerned," he said.

While emotions are running high in the wake of the mass media coverage, Briggs noted the associated difficulties with making claims, some of which are made many years after the relevant event.

According to Briggs, significant delays in claims must be explained - a task which is made more difficult with the absence of contemporaneous records.

Adding to those difficulties, Briggs said, is the emotional toll such claims can take on victims.

"One of the dangers and one of the problems you have is that this re-opens old wounds," he said. "It's been a difficult time for a number of people that I have spoken to in the last week."

Welcoming the Defence Minister's actions, Briggs suggested the Department of Veteran Affairs may now be more sympathetic to claims.

"The Department of Veteran Affairs might have been a bit more harsh before. They might now be more sympathetic - I don't know - but it's a good thing that people feel they can come out and seek legal advice about what happened to them," he said.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

ADF sex scandal prompts fresh claims
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...