• Catholic Clergy Abuse - General
    Catholic Clergy Abuse - General
    Dr Viv Waller has acted in claims against Catholic Clergy since 1995. Waller Legal has recovered compensation for the victims of Catholic Priests such as Frs Baker, Ridsdale, Kevin O'Donnell, D'Cruz, Gannon, Glennon, Gubbels, Frank Klep, Bernard Day & Pidoto.
  • Catholic Clergy Abuse - Melbourne Response
    Catholic Clergy Abuse - Melbourne Response
    Melbourne Response is an alternative dispute resolution process designed to provide redress to victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by priests, religious and lay persons who fall within the jurisdiction of the Melbourne Archdiocese.
  • Civil Litigation
    Civil Litigation
    Civil Litigation in the County And Supreme Courts of Victoria. In our pursuit of justice for sexual assault survivors Waller Legal has run common law cases for compensation against; Individual offenders such as family members, teachers, doctors, psychologists and religious figures;
  • Claims for Indigenous & Travel to Remote Communities
    Claims for Indigenous & Travel to Remote Communities
    If you have been the victim of a crime of violence or sexual assault then please contact our office so we may assess your application and obtain financial assistance, counselling, medical or other expenses that may help with your recovery.
  • Royal Commission & Redress Schemes
    Royal Commission & Redress Schemes
    Established in January 2013, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is investigating how institutions like schools, churches and sporting groups responded to allegations of child sexual abuse.
  • Sentencing Act Applications
    Sentencing Act Applications
    If you have been the victim of a crime for which the offender was convicted please contact our office urgently. Any Sentencing Act Application for compensation must be made within 12 months of the date of the conviction.
  • State Ward Claims
    State Ward Claims
    Dr Viv Waller has acted for former wards of the state of Victoria since 1997 when she commenced group litigation on behalf of many former residents of the Ballarat Orphanage who were abused in care.
  • Victim of Crimes Assistance Tribunal
    Victim of Crimes Assistance Tribunal
    If you have been the victim of a crime of violence or sexual assault then please contact our office so we may assess your application and obtain financial assistance, counselling, medical or other expenses that may help with your recovery.

Media

Dr Vivian Waller is a solicitor and the principal of Waller Legal, a legal practice dedicated to looking after victims of crime and those who have endured sexual assault or child abuse. She was admitted to legal practice in 1995 and has represented victim/survivors of sexual assault for nearly 20 years.
Federal Redress Scheme Announcement
2017-10-26
by Waller Legal

Waller Legal welcomes the introduction of the Commonwealth Redress scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill, which was introduced in Federal Parliament today for discussion and debate.

If passed into law the Bill would create a redress scheme for survivors of institutional childhood sexual abuse at Commonwealth and Territory institutions with a cap of $150,000.

The scheme is set to commence on 1 July 2018 and will operate for 10 years.

It is not yet clear if the scheme will be available to survivors who were sexually abused in state run institutions or non government institutions.  The scheme is set to operate on an “opt in” basis, whereby the States, and institutions operating within them, would need to choose to participate.

There have been no announcements by Victoria or any other state confirming whether or not they will choose to participate in the Federal Redress Scheme.

Survivors who have received redress through another scheme, or have received compensation through a court order or settlement will not be excluded from the scheme but the amount previously paid will be deducted from any Federal Redress payment.

In addition to the Redress payment, survivors will also be offered access to counselling and psychological services and a personal response from the responsible institution.

The Bill excludes survivors who have been convicted of sexual offences themselves, or convicted of other crimes and sentenced to a prison term of 5 years or more.

The Scheme will require survivors to sign a Deed releasing the responsible institutions from any further claim. The Bill claims that the scheme will deliver free, trauma informed, culturally appropriate and expert Legal Support Services, however no information has been released about this process.

Dr Waller comments as follows:

“We welcome the introduction of the Bill as a good start. 

At the moment the proposed Bill only applies to Commonwealth and Territory institutions. 

Clearly the success of the proposed Redress Scheme will hinge on the good will of each State and the willingness of every institution to choose to opt in to the scheme.

We call on all State Governments to attend to their responsibilities for children in care and opt into the scheme.

We call on all institutions to honour the good intentions they expressed to the Royal Commission to make amends and to opt into the scheme.   

Actions speak louder than words.  Australians have been shocked by the depth of depravity of the abuse of children by religious clergy.  Every Australian will measure the moral worth of the church by their response. Let’s hope they put their money where their mouth is.

It will be crucial that the scheme provides independent and expert legal advice to survivors about their options.  Many survivors will have viable common law claims for compensation in excess of the Scheme’s cap of $150,000.  They should be provided with independent legal advice as they will be asked to sign away their common law rights in the form of a release. 

It is important to know what those rights are before signing anything.  We recommend that survivors seek independent legal advice so they know what rights they are being asked to sign away.”

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