Law

The Legislative Assault on the Seal of Confession

In late 2019 the McGowan Labor government in Western Australia introduced the Children and Community Services Amendment Bill 2019. The principal aim of this proposed legislation is to introduce mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse, and this would be enforced by compelling clergy to break the seal of the confessional in the event an act of child sexual abuse was disclosed to a priest during confession. The Bill is stated to be an implementation of one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. The Bill states, in proposed new section 124BA, as follows: Section 124BA. Provisions…

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