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Part 2-5—Offers and acceptance of redress

Part 2-5 Offers and acceptance of redress

Division 1 Simplified outline of this Part

36   Simplified outline of this Part

If the Operator approves a person’s application for redress, the Operator must give the person a written offer of redress. The offer must include the information set out in section 37. The person may accept or decline the offer.

If the person wishes to accept the offer, he or she must do so by giving the Operator, within the acceptance period, an acceptance document that complies with section 39. If the person accepts the offer, the person releases all the participating institutions determined by the Operator to be responsible for the abuse from all civil liability for the abuse. The person will then be provided with redress under the scheme.

If the person accepts the offer, the Operator must notify the participating institutions determined by the Operator to be responsible for the abuse of the person’s acceptance of the offer (including the elements of redress that the person wishes to receive).

If the person declines the offer (either by formally declining, or by doing nothing, in the acceptance period), the person is not required to release any institution from civil liability for the person’s abuse, but the person will not be provided with redress under the scheme.

Division 2 Offers of redress

37   Offer of redress

             (1)  If the Operator approves a person’s application for redress, the Operator must give the person a written offer of redress that:

                     (a)  explains the 3 elements of redress (i.e. redress payment, access to counselling and psychological services, and a direct personal response); and

                     (b)  specifies the amount of the redress payment; and

                     (c)  specifies the participating institutions determined by the Operator under paragraph 32(2)(b) to be responsible for the person’s abuse and therefore liable for providing redress to the person under the scheme; and

                     (d)  specifies the participating institutions that were identified in the person’s application but determined by the Operator under paragraph 32(2)(e) not to be responsible for the person’s abuse and therefore not liable for providing redress to the person under the scheme; and

                     (e)  states the date of the offer; and

                      (f)  specifies the acceptance period for the offer (see section 38); and

                     (g)  gives information about the opportunity for the person to access legal services under the scheme for the purposes of obtaining legal advice about whether to accept the offer; and

                     (h)  gives information about other services available to the person under the scheme to help the person to decide whether to accept the offer; and

                      (i)  explains how to accept or decline the offer, should the applicant decide to do so; and

                      (j)  informs the applicant that the offer expires at the end of the acceptance period; and

                     (k)  explains the effect of section 40 (which is about the release of participating institutions from civil liability) should the applicant accept the offer; and

                      (l)  informs the applicant that the applicant does not have to accept the offer and that, by doing nothing, the offer is taken to be declined at the end of the acceptance period; and

                    (m)  informs the applicant that the applicant may request an extension of that period and explains how to make that request; and

                     (n)  complies with any requirements prescribed by the rules.

             (2)  The offer expires at the end of the acceptance period.

38   Acceptance period for offers of redress

             (1)  The acceptance period for an offer of redress to a person is the period determined by the Operator, which must be at least 90 days, starting on the date of the offer.

             (2)  The Operator may, by written notice to the person, extend the acceptance period if the Operator considers there are exceptional circumstances that justify the extension.

             (3)  An extension under subsection (2) may be given:

                     (a)  on the Operator’s own initiative; or

                     (b)  on a request made by the person under subsection (4).

             (4)  The person may request the Operator to extend the acceptance period. The request must:

                     (a)  be made before the end of the acceptance period; and

                     (b)  comply with any requirements prescribed by the rules.

             (5)  If the Operator extends the period, the acceptance period is the original period as extended by the Operator.

Division 3 Acceptance of offers of redress

39   Acceptance of offers of redress

             (1)  If the Operator makes an offer of redress to a person, the person may accept the offer by complying with this section.

             (2)  The person must give the Operator an acceptance document that:

                     (a)  is in the form approved by the Operator; and

                     (b)  states that the person accepts the offer; and

                     (c)  states that the person releases and forever discharges all participating institutions determined by the Operator under paragraph 32(2)(b) to be liable for providing redress to the person from all civil liability for abuse of the person that is within the scope of the scheme; and

                     (d)  states that the person will not, whether as an individual, a representative party or a member of a group, bring or continue any civil claim against those participating institutions in relation to that abuse; and

                     (e)  states the elements of redress that the person wishes to receive; and

                      (f)  includes an acknowledgement that the person understands the effect of accepting the offer; and

                     (g)  is signed by the person; and

                     (h)  complies with any requirements prescribed by the rules.

             (3)  The person must give the Operator the acceptance document:

                     (a)  before the end of the acceptance period; and

                     (b)  in the manner (if any) prescribed by the rules.

40   Effect of acceptance on civil liability

                   If a person accepts an offer of redress in accordance with section 39, then, at the time the person gives the acceptance and by force of this section:

                     (a)  the person releases and forever discharges all participating institutions determined by the Operator under paragraph 32(2)(b) to be liable for providing redress to the person from all civil liability for abuse of the person that is within the scope of the scheme; and

                     (b)  the person cannot, whether as an individual, a representative party or a member of a group, bring or continue any civil claim against those participating institutions in relation to that abuse.

41   Notice of acceptance of offer to liable participating institutions

             (1)  If a person accepts an offer of redress in accordance with section 39, then the Operator must give each participating institution determined by the Operator under paragraph 32(2)(b) to be liable for providing redress to the person written notice of:

                     (a)  the person’s acceptance of the offer; and

                     (b)  the elements of redress that the person wishes to receive (including whether the person wishes to receive a direct personal response from the institution); and

                     (c)  if the person wishes to receive a redress payment:

                              (i)  the amount of that payment; and

                             (ii)  the amount of the institution’s share of the cost of that payment; and

                     (d)  any matters prescribed by the rules.

             (2)  The notice must be accompanied by a copy of the person’s acceptance document.

42   Declining offers of redress

             (1)  If the Operator makes an offer of redress to a person, the person may decline the offer by giving the Operator, before the end of the acceptance period, a document that:

                     (a)  is in the form approved by the Operator; and

                     (b)  states that the person declines the offer; and

                     (c)  acknowledges that the person understands the effect of declining the offer (including that the person will not be able to make another application for redress under the scheme); and

                     (d)  is signed by the person; and

                     (e)  complies with any requirements prescribed by the rules.

             (2)  The person may also decline the offer by not accepting the offer within the acceptance period.