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Legal firepower for child abuse probe

Abuse2

The Tasmanian Government has revealed two professors will head up its inquiry into the Education Department's handling of paedophile teachers.

Stephen Smallbone and Tim McCormack are experts in their respective fields of institutional abuse and humanitarian law.

"We are privileged to have been appointed to undertake this inquiry. Our priority is our commitment to the children of our state - to current and or future who are the next generations of Tasmanians. Their safety is essenital and a necessary precondition for them to flourish and to develop their full potential. We are looking forward to working with Ms Amber Mignot and the Child Abuse Royal Commission Reponse Unit to progress this important work," they said.

Abuse survivors are suing the state, alleging the department protected up to 10 child abusing teachers.

Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff announced the probe in August, following years of campaigning and trials of former paedophile teachers which resulted in jail terms.

"Professor Smallbone provided advice to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse as an independent expert witness in two of the Commission’s public hearings, and acted as a reviewer for a number of the Commission’s research papers," Attorney General Elise Archer said.

"Professor McCormack is currently a Special Adviser on International Humanitarian Law to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, a Professor of International Law at the University of Tasmania Law School and is an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne Law School," she said.

Public submissions to the inquiry are being welcomed via email at [email protected] or by phone on (03) 6165 4862.