Videos of 2017 Australian RoyalCommission Hearings
All sessions were held on March 10, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. These hearings were to act as follow up to the August 2015 hearings that reviewed several typical child abuse cases involving Jehovah’s Witness congregations. More information on those hearings will be available soon. Please check back.
Here are the transcripts of the three sessions held on March 10:
The Washington Post, along with other major newspapers, reported on November 28, 2016, that during the past sixty years in Australia not one of hundreds of alleged child abusers identified as Jehovah’s Witnesses were reported to police or civil authorities.
Brad Ryan at ABC News (Australia) reports that the Royal Commission on Child Abuse has created a huge backlog cases for the police to investigate. The lead to Ryan’s article published Sunday, September 12, 2016, stated, “Police ‘under pressure’ after 1,659 cases flagged for investigation…”
Ryan reports that “…the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse has referred more than 1,500 matters to authorities, straining the resources of police forces around the country…Justice Peter McClellan, who chairs the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, told a hearing in Sydney that 1,659 matters had been passed on to police to consider for further investigation.”
The article continues to describe the amount of work facing Australian law enforcement:
“…Prosecutions have been brought against 71 people.
“Because of the volume of references, the resources of the various police forces have been placed under significant pressure,” Justice McClellan said. “I understand a great many references are awaiting investigation, or the investigations are underway but not complete.”
Justice McClellan said the commission had received information about more than 4,000 institutions, but it was impossible to hold public hearings into all of them.
“We have carefully selected the institutions we have publicly investigated with a view to providing the Government, the institutions and the public with an understanding of the nature of the problems which we have identified,” he said.
“The case studies have been selected to ensure an appropriate geographical spread and also an appropriate reflection of the type of institution where survivors were abused.”
Commissioners have also met abuse survivors in 5,866 private sessions, with another 1,616 people yet to be seen.
The commission is today beginning a public hearing into how Catholic authorities dealt with allegations of abuse by former priest John Farrell.
It will examine the responses of the Catholic dioceses of Armidale and Parramatta, and a Sydney special issues group.
Justice McClellan said it was expected to be the royal commission’s final hearing specifically relating to Catholic institutions.
The Daily Mail in the UK reports that a convicted pedophile near Melbourne, Australia is now working with children at a local Kingdom Hall. This report could open up a “can of worms” for both the former convict and the elders in charge of protecting the local children of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The Supreme Court in the United Kingdom has issued a “final ruling” telling the Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society of Great Britain that it cannot stop the Charity Commission from investigating the charity. This ruling could end the Watchtower’s last gasp efforts to derail the Charity Commission’s inquiries.
BBC Radio 4 reported on Sunday, February 14, 2016 that Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall elders in the UK were directed by the Watchtower Society’s headquarters to destroy certain documents that were of particular interest to the Goddard Inquiry investigating child abuse and reporting of criminal behavior.