Catholic church loses landmark case over tactics that shield it from Australian abuse claims

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11/02/2023

The Catholic church has lost a landmark case over its controversial use of the deaths of paedophile priests to thwart survivors’ attempts at justice. The high court on Wednesday delivered a significant blow to the church’s use of permanent stays in historical abuse matters, where it has sought to argue that delay, the death of perpetrators, and the loss of records render it unable to receive a fair trial. Earlier this year, a Guardian investigation found that the church was now routinely using permanent stays in cases where perpetrators have died, either to defeat active claims before the courts or to low-ball survivors in settlement negotiations.

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