Victims of institutional child sex abuse in Queensland can have their old Forde Scheme payments reviewed and topped up because of new laws.
The Queensland Government have changed legislation so that courts can review previous settlements, including Forde Scheme payments, and award additional compensation to victims.
Solicitors acting on behalf of Forde Scheme applicants can apply to the court to sue the offending institution. There are hundreds of abuse survivors who will be eligible to receive a substantial top up.
The change is a direct result of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The level of public scrutiny of many heartless institutions encouraged the Government to make changes to the law so that victims have better access to justice and compensation.
The Queensland Government was the first in Australia to formally recognise the experiences of Forgotten Australians by setting up the 1998-99 Commission of Inquiry into abuse of children in Queensland institutions, better known as the Forde Inquiry.
The Inquiry allowed victims to apply for and receive a modest settlement, however, they had to waive their legal rights to go to court. Victims were compensated by a public fund which offered meagre settlements.
Victims weren’t given the option to take the institution to court to seek a ‘common law’ based payment – which would’ve been far more significant than what they were offered through the Forde Scheme.
Victims were held over a barrel – either go through the Forde Scheme and sign the waiver or settle for nothing.
Commonly, Forde Scheme applicants were abused in youth detention centres and orphanages run by the State of Queensland. Other applicants included victims abused by institutions like Catholic Sisters of Mercy, Anglican Church or The Salvation Army.
Important note: Forde Scheme victims should NOT apply to the National Redress Scheme. If you have already applied for redress you should contact the team at Kelso Lawyers immediately as there may be irreversible consequences.
If you received a payment from the Forde Scheme get in touch with the team at Kelso Lawyers immediately – you may be eligible for a substantial top up.