JUSTICE AND THE CHURCHS RESPONSE TO ABUSE: Underlying Principles and Proposals

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Robert E Mackay

To cite this article:  Mackay, R.E. (2020). “JUSTICE AND THE CHURCHS RESPONSE TO ABUSE: Underlying Principles and Proposals, Internet Journal of Restorative Justice, ISSN (online): 2056-2985




This paper addresses the question: How can justice can be provided to victims of abuse and ordained ministers of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) who are accused? The paper will attempt to explore issues and dilemmas in developing a scheme that provides just outcomes, and to present a framework within which such a scheme could be created.

The paper draws on documentation in the public domain within the SEC. It also draws on a submission to the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. (See footnote 5 below.) The paper uses the framework of the European Convention of Human Rights to provide an ethical and legal-theoretical basis to the argument.

The paper frames the proposals in the Draft SEC Safeguarding Policy Commitments (undated), which have been used in PVG training throughout the Province. It should be noted at the outset, that the Church’s arrangements for dealing with complaints and concerns must be consistent with the Scottish Government’s governance expectations of the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator, particularly in respect of transparency, constructiveness and impartiality

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