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Royal Commission

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A mechanism of independent scrutiny – such as a royal commission – remains the best way forward for alleviating defence abuse. AAP/Alan Porritt

Royal commission could shine an independent light on defence abuse

As I was showering five or six senior [others] attacked me – they turned off the lights, tied my hands behind my back and proceeded to do things to me. I was held down whilst one of them put his penis…
Convicted sex offender and former Marist Brother Gregory Sutton (left) tries to hide his face while leaving a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse hearing. AAP/Dean Lewins

Breaking the silence about white Australian men’s abuse of children

I have seen firsthand how child sexual abuse is rife in every part of the Australian community – but only sometimes is that abuse reported in full colour. It probably won’t surprise you if I say that I’ve…
Commissioner Dyson Haydon said there were dimensions of criminal conduct suggesting a more thorough examination of the unions was desirable. AAP/Paul Harris

Government extends union probe amid criminal conduct evidence

The royal commission into union corruption has been extended for a year and given wider terms of reference, after finding…
Tony Abbott made political capital out of the Home Insulation Program’s problems, but will he heed the lessons from the Royal Commission’s findings? AAP/Alan Porritt

Insulation royal commission exposes fatal market flaws

The most important finding in the final report of the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program is the one the Abbott government is least likely to heed. One of the two crucial flaws Commissioner…
The heavy vehicle freight system predictably produces avoidable deaths and misery on a grand scale. Can we expect an inquiry into who’s responsible? AAP/Adrian Munn

Tragic accidents by design: finally, a finding of systemic blame

The damning report of the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program (HIP) was released on Monday. It cites multiple failures of ministers and public servants to foresee and prevent circumstances…
Throughout his recent royal commission appearance, Catholic cardinal George Pell focused on the ‘choices’ that victims of abuse make. AAP/Paul Miller

Moral responsibility a drive-by victim of Pell’s view of the church

Cardinal George Pell’s appearance at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will do little to rehabilitate his image in the eyes of clergy abuse victims. Via video link…
The child sex abuse royal commission under Justice Peter McClellan has asked for more time and money to complete its investigation. AAP/Jeremy Piper

Report makes a compelling case to extend sex abuse royal commission

On Monday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released its interim report, detailing for the first time the full scope and comprehensiveness of its inquiry into institutional…
The Abbott government’s use of royal commissions for political retribution has revived an older tradition around the politics of scandal. AAP/Dan Peled

Pink batts and union inquiries revive a tradition of political retribution

It would be a fair observation that the Abbott government hopes that the result of the two royal commissions it has established since taking office will be damaging to the Labor Party. The royal commissions…
Rudd’s legal wrangles: political theatre, but beside the point when it comes to improving public programs. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Rudd humbled, but real lessons of insulation scheme go unlearned

It’s understandable that coverage of Kevin Rudd’s appearance before the royal commission into the home insulation program should focus on the image of a former Prime Minister humbled over a policy that…
The voluntary release of the former Rudd government’s cabinet documents in relation to the home insulation scheme risks undermining cabinet confidentiality, and is a dangerous precedent. AAP/Alan Porritt

Cabinet confidentiality: privilege, accountability and public interest

It was revealed last week that prime minister Tony Abbott personally authorised the disclosure of the former Labor government’s cabinet papers in response to a summons by the royal commission into the…
By releasing the previous government’s cabinet proceedings for examination, Tony Abbott has exposed his cabinet to the risk that their successors will do the same to them. AAP/Alan Porritt

Releasing cabinet papers sets up paybacks that hurt our democracy

A long-standing principle in Australian politics, one derived from Westminster and British experience over hundreds of years, is that incoming governments do not use the confidential discussions of cabinet…
The Abbott government isn’t the first to take aim at corruption in the construction industry. Alan Porritt/AAP

Royal Commission take three: construction sector still lawless

In light of the upcoming Royal Commission into trade union corruption, it’s worth asking if the recommendations of the two previous Commissions into the construction industry, together with other state…
What do the royal commission into union corruption’s terms of reference, as released by the Abbott government, suggest about the scope of its inquiry? AAP/Dan Peled

Royal commission gets broad brief to crack union corruption

The terms of reference for a royal commission into allegations of corruption and misconduct in the unions were lodged earlier this week by the federal government. The remit of the royal commission is both…
The terms of reference announced by Julia Gillard could bring about cultural change around issues of institutional abuse. AAP/Stephanie Flack

Royal commission faces challenges but provides an opportunity for change

The terms of reference of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have been prudently drawn, providing scope for both inquisitorial depth and transformative policy recommendations…
Prime minister Julia Gillard met with victims and their families at Kirribilli House on Saturday. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Royal commission has the power to bring justice to victims of sexual abuse

The terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, as announced by the prime minister on Friday, certainly seem to tick all the right boxes if survivors and…
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, Families Minister Jenny Macklin and Prime Minister Julia Gillard have announced the royal commission’s terms of reference. AAP/Stephanie Flack

Explainer: royal commission into child sex abuse

The terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse were released this afternoon in Sydney. In speeches that emphasised the need to acknowledge the experiences…
The Federal Government will give the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse a special unit to investigate cases but will not have the power to prosecute. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Royal Commission into Child Abuse terms of reference: experts respond

The Federal Government today released the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses Child…
Nick Pollard delivers his review on BBC Newsnight’s decision to exclude a report on alleged abuse by the late broadcaster, Jimmy Savile. EPA/Chris Radburn

Australian Royal Commission and the Savile investigation: getting the truth out

With the year’s end tantalisingly close, Australia awaits the announcement of the Federal government’s terms of reference for the national Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual…

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