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Analysis and Comment (26)

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…
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…
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…
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…
People who were abused as children are more likely to suffer mental health and substance abuse disorders. Dawn Ashley

Protecting the abused from further trauma during the Royal Commission

There is great support within the community for the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse. Many people have high hopes it will right the wrongs of the past and help us, as a nation, to eliminate future…
The Catholic Church’s cover-ups have all the markings of a corrupt organisation. AAP/April Fonti

Royal Commission must treat the church like a corrupt police force

The Catholic Church has constructed a white curtain behind which networks of corruption have been allowed to deepen. Professor Patrick Parkinson, a senior lawyer who formally supported the Church’s “Towards…
Will help for victims of clergy abuse extend beyond the Royal Commission? AAP/Paul Miller

Royal Commission: abuse victims need to be helped, not just heard

There has been a great deal of focus on the role of a Royal Commission in delivering “justice” for victims of sexual abuse. Justice is a powerful, symbolic principle, and being listened to can be a moving…
Cardinal George Pell says he will support the Royal Commission into child abuse - but how will we know whether it has been effective or not? Paul Miller / AAP

A Royal Commission into child abuse – how do we measure its effectiveness or ‘success’?

Since Monday’s announcement of the creation of a Royal Commission into institutional child abuse there has been some discussion about what this might achieve. In short how will a Royal Commission be different…
A royal commission into institutionalised sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Australia has been announced. AAP/Dave Hunt

Royal commissions: how do they work?

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a royal commission into child abuse in churches, schools and foster homes. The inquiry will include, but not be limited to, allegations of abuse in the Catholic…
Cardinal George Pell says there is insufficient evidence to hold a Royal Commission into claims of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church. AAP/Dean Lewins

Church and state oppose a Royal Commission at the expense of clergy’s victims

Report after damning report is rapidly revealing the dirty secrets of the Catholic Church. As fresh allegations and evidence abound, it seems we have a seismic shift in the battle for justice for victims…

Research and News (3)