‘Disgusting’ defence to compo claim

The NSW Education Department is arguing in a legal suit that Chris Dawson’s victim had a “share in responsibility” for being groomed because she didn’t end her relationship with him.

It also claims the former student was somewhat at fault for the hurt caused byDawson’s abuse because she failed to tell her parents about the relationship, did not report it to the police and did not notify the school.

Shine Lawyers abuse lawyer Sheree Buchanan said the defence was “completely ignorant of the power imbalance” between a student and her teacher.

“The element of control in the perpetrator’s position being that of authority would have allowed him to exert such influence over a vulnerable victim, regardless of her age,” Ms Buchanan said.

The defence also claims the department had no duty of care over the girl except during school hours, on school grounds and while the school curriculum was being performed.

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One thought on “‘Disgusting’ defence to compo claim”

  1. When Keith Mason (NOT the HC Puny then Chief Justice Mason – a totally different person) was President of the NSW Court of Appeal, he wrote a good judgment on responsibility of Dept Education vis-a-vis teacher’s/tearchers’ sexual abuse of a student. That and a similar case from Queensland (sadly relating to a former Labor MP (Qld Parliament) when a teacher) webt to the High Court where, sadly and with in my opinion extraordinarily poor jurisprudential ‘reasoning’ overturned the NSW Ct Appeal and found for the Education Departments of Qld and NSW. (As I recall John Dyson Hayden was one of the HC judges in that appeal but of course all of them bear equal responsibility for the impoverished (my opinion) nature of the legal ‘analysis’ applied. When this case goes to the High Court – likely on the history of it including this ‘defence’ will, could we hope for a better attempt at addressing the issues – at least from some of the members? Sadly on the track record including other examples more recent but particularly see 1989 Longman – one has little expectation.

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