ELIZABETH THE SECOND, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth….
WHEREAS all children deserve a safe and happy childhood.
AND Australia has undertaken international obligations …. [regarding] reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow up of incidents of child abuse.
AND all forms of child sexual abuse are a gross violation of a child’s right to this protection and a crime under Australian law ….
AND it is important that claims of systemic failures … be fully explored….
AND noting that, without diminishing its criminality or seriousness, your inquiry will not specifically examine the issue of child sexual abuse …. but that any recommendations you make are likely to improve the response to all forms of child sexual abuse in all contexts.
NOW THEREFORE We do, by these Our Letters Patent … appoint you to be a Commission of inquiry, and require and authorise you, to inquire into institutional responses to allegations and incidents of child sexual abuse and related matters, and in particular….
c. what should be done to eliminate or reduce impediments that currently exist for responding appropriately to child sexual abuse ….
AND We direct you to make any recommendations arising out of your inquiry that you consider appropriate, including recommendations about any policy, legislative, administrative or structural reforms. [!!!!!]
AND, without limiting the scope of your inquiry or the scope of any recommendations arising out of your inquiry that you may consider appropriate, We direct you, for the purposes of your inquiry and recommendations, to have regard to the following matters:
e. the experience of people directly or indirectly affected by child sexual abuse ….
f. the need to focus your inquiry and recommendations on systemic issues, recognising nevertheless that you will be informed by individual cases and may need to make referrals to appropriate authorities in individual cases;
AND, without limiting the scope of your inquiry or the scope of any recommendations arising out of your inquiry that you may consider appropriate, We direct you … to consider the following matters, and We authorise you
to take (or refrain from taking) any action that you consider appropriate arising out of your consideration:
i. the need to establish mechanisms … for the purpose of enabling the timely investigation and prosecution of offences;
m. the need to ensure that institutions and other parties are given a sufficient opportunity to respond to requests and requirements for information, documents and things, including, for example, having regard to any need to obtain archived material.
AND We appoint you, the Honourable Justice Peter David McClellan AM, to be the Chair of the Commission….
AND We declare that in these Our Letters Patent:
child means a child within the meaning of the Convention on the Rights of the Child of 20 November 1989.
institution means any public or private body, agency, association, club, institution, organisation or other entity or group of entities of any kind (whether incorporated or unincorporated), and however described,
official, of an institution, includes:…
vi. any representative (however described) of the institution or a related entity; and
vii. any member, officer, employee, associate, contractor or volunteer (however described) of the institution or a related entity; and…
ix. any other person who you consider is, or should be treated as if the person were, an official of the institution.
IN WITNESS, We have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent.
WITNESS Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.
Dated 11th January 2013 [Emphasis added]
Julia Gillard, Prime Minister