Silk to review Church’s complaints scheme

By Reporter|26 August 2014

Former Federal Court judge Donnell Ryan QC has been appointed to head a review of the Catholic Church’s Melbourne Response.

Ryan (pictured), who is from Melbourne’s Aickin Chambers, was appointed by Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart to review the Church’s complaints scheme.

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Archbishop Hart announced Ryan’s appointment when appearing before the Child Abuse Royal Commission in Melbourne yesterday afternoon (25 August).

As head of the review, Ryan will examine possible improvements to the system.

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He will also consider whether the $75,000 cap on compensation should be lifted, and whether the amount of compensation paid to victims in the past should be revisited.

The scheme has paid more than $17 million to 326 abuse victims since it began in 1996.

Ryan practised at the Victorian Bar from 1965 until his elevation to the Federal Court in 1986.

He was the senior counsel assisting the Hope Royal Commission into Australia’s Security Organisations, and is currently overseeing the conduct of a pending native title claim by the Biljana people centred on the Charleville in south-west Queensland.

Ryan has also been a part-time Commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission.

Silk to review Church’s complaints scheme
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