This newsletter provides you with information about your legal options in regards to the National Redress Scheme (the Scheme).
For more information or to find support services, visit the http://nationalredress.gov.au/ or call 1800 737 377 Monday to Friday (local time) excluding public holidays.
Understanding your legal rights under the National Redress Scheme
You are not required to use a lawyer to apply for redress. However, you may wish to seek legal advice to understand if redress if the best option for you and the impact it may have on other legal rights.
If you want to access legal support, the Scheme offers free legal advice through knowmore or call 1800 605 762 (Free call).
You can also choose to use a private lawyer. This will be at your own cost. Below are some questions you may have regarding the use of lawyers and the Scheme.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I required to seek legal advice?
No. However, you may wish to seek legal advice as this may help you through the process and allow you to completely understand your legal rights.
Can I get free legal advice?
Yes. The Scheme provides free legal support services through ‘knowmore’.
What can knowmore provide?
knowmore is available for free to all people thinking about applying to the Scheme.
knowmore can provide you with:
- legal support through the application process,
- legal advice on your options, including the availability of other forms of action or redress aside from the Scheme,
- assistance understanding the legal effects of accepting an offer of redress,
- advice on the effect of confidentiality agreements in past proceedings,
- take complaints about the Scheme,
- support obtaining records,
- linking with specialist counselling, support services and victims’ support groups, and
- any other legal support needs, through providing information and referral support.
What is knowmore?
knowmore is a legal service funded by the Commonwealth Government through the Attorney-General’s Department.
knowmore delivers free services nationally from its three offices in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney with regular visits to other States and Territories. These services are delivered through its multidisciplinary team of lawyers, social workers and counsellors.
knowmore has a proven track record of providing legal support services to survivors of child sexual abuse. It has the infrastructure and expertise deliver national, quality and trauma‑informed legal services.
Do I have to use knowmore?
No. You are not required to seek legal advice to apply to the Scheme. You can also use a private lawyer. This may be at your own cost.
Should I seek legal advice?
You may wish to seek legal advice, with the Scheme offering free advice through knowmore. While the Scheme is designed to be non-legalistic, some people may need help to complete their application to ensure that all the necessary information has been included. knowmore can help with this.
For many people making an application for redress will be the right thing to do. However, not everyone is eligible for redress. Some people may also want to consider if civil litigation is a better option for them.
If you have received redress under other schemes or through past actions or claims you can still apply to this Scheme; however, prior payments may be taken into account.
If you accept an offer of redress you must sign a release document. By signing this release, you will not be able to continue or to commence any civil or common law proceedings against the responsible institution or its officials. This is an important right to give up. knowmore can give you advice about the release and the legal options that you might have apart from redress.
Where do I get support?
Redress Support Services are available to help people understand the Scheme, provide emotional support and guide people through the application process. A list of support services is available on the website.
Those who need immediate emotional support can contact:
· Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
· Mensline 1300 78 99 78
· Lifeline 13 11 14
· 1800 Respect 1800 737 732
· Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
· In an emergency call Triple Zero (000)
Find out more
To find out more, you can call the National Redress Scheme on 1800 737 377Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm (local time), excluding public holidays. You can also visit the website the National Redress Scheme website.