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Judicial Council. “Public Access Records”

Under international lawgenocidecrimes against humanity and war crimes are usually not subject to the statute of limitations as codified in a number of multilateral treaties. States ratifying the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity agree to disallow limitations claims for these crimes. In Article 29 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes “shall not be subject to any statute of limitations”.

The Limitations Act of 1958 allows 12 years for victims of child abuse to make a claim, with age 37 the latest at which a claim can be made. The police submitted evidence to a commission, the Victorian Inquiry into Church and Institutional Child Abuse (in existence since 2012) indicating that it takes an average of 24 years for a survivor of child sexual abuse to go to the police According to Attorney General Robert Clark, the government will remove statutes of limitations on criminal child abuse; survivors of violent crime should be given additional time, as adults, to deal with the legal system Offenders of minors and the disabled have used the statute of limitations to avoid detection and prosecution, moving from state to state and country to country; an example presented to the Victorian Inquiry was the Christian Brothers

An argument for abolishing statutes of limitations for civil claims by minors and people under guardianship is ensuring that abuse of vulnerable people would be acknowledged by lawyers, police, organisations and governments, with enforceable penalties for organisations which have turned a blind eye in the past. Support groups such as SNAP Australia,Care Leavers Australia Networkand Broken Rites have submitted evidence to the Victoria inquiry,and the Law Institute of Victoria[ has advocated changes to the statute of limitations.