Queensland to jail priests
Priests in Queensland will now be compelled to break the seal of confession to report child sexual abuse or face three years in jail.
- The law was passed with the support of the Opposition
- It enacts a recommendation of the child sexual abuse royal commission
- Police Minister Mark Ryan says it will help protect vulnerable children
New laws passed through Queensland Parliament will force members of the clergy to report known or suspected cases of abuse to police.
The legislation means religious institutions and their members are no longer able to use the sanctity of confessional as a defence or excuse in child sex abuse matters.
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the laws would ensure better protection for vulnerable children.
“The requirement and quite frankly the moral obligation to report concerning behaviours towards everyone applies to everyone in this community,” he said.
“No one group or occupation is being singled out.
The laws apply to information received from now, even if it relates to abuse that occurred in the past.
The law was supported by the Opposition.