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Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

Ronald Sackville AO QC has been appointed as Chair of the new Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (Commonwealth of Australia). He will be assisted by Barbara Bennett PSM, Rhonda Galbally AC, Andrea Mason OAM, Alistair McEwin and John Ryan AM.

The terms of reference are available online, however the four main items for inquiry and report are:

  • what governments, institutions and the community should do to prevent, and better protect, people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, having regard to the extent of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation experienced by people with disability in all settings and contexts;
  • what governments, institutions and the community should do to achieve best practice to encourage reporting of, and effective investigations of and responses to, violence against, and abuse, neglect and exploitation of, people with disability, including addressing failures in, and impediments to, reporting, investigating and responding to such conduct;
  • what should be done to promote a more inclusive society that supports the independence of people with disability and their right to live free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation;
  • any matter reasonably incidental to a matter referred to in paragraphs (a) to (c) or that … is reasonably relevant to … inquiry.

For the purposes of the Royal Commission, “people with disability” is defined to mean people with any kind of impairment, whether existing at birth or acquired through illness, accident or the ageing process, including cognitive impairment and physical, sensory, intellectual and psycho-social disability.

The Commission is to report by 29 April 2022, with an interim report by 30 October 2020.

 Bill Madden, Special Counsel

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