Former Federal Court justice Duncan Kerr has today been announced as the new chair of the Church’s National Appeals and Review Panel. Source: Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd.
The National Appeals and Review Panel, managed by Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd (ACSL), is an independent panel that facilitates reviews for complaints concerning abuse against children and vulnerable adults that have been managed by Catholic Church authorities.
ACSL chief executive officer Ursula Stephens said the appointment is very significant in the life of the Review Panel, given Mr Kerr’s substantial experience.
“The National Appeals and Review Panel looks into the management of complaints to ensure there has been procedural fairness and a robust process. Reviews are taken incredibly seriously,” Dr Stephens said.
“For complainants, respondents or Church authorities who feel their complaint has not been handled appropriately, the panel is here to thoroughly and compassionately review the processes to determine whether the outcome of the complaint management has been procedurally fair.
“Mr Kerr taking leadership of the panel means that there is deep experience and expertise at the highest review level to oversee the processes of the panel.”
The National Appeals and Review Panel can facilitate a review into a previous complaint that was made to and managed by a Church authority under recognised Catholic professional and safeguarding standards: the National Response Protocol, Towards Healing or the complaints management policy of an individual Catholic Church authority, including dioceses and religious institutes.
More information about the National Appeals and Review Panel is available on ACSL’s website.