Law and religion round-up – 2nd January

Vicarious liability for clerical abuse in Australia 

In DP (a pseudonym) v Bird [2021] VSC 850, handed down on 22 December, a judge of the Victorian Supreme Court ruled that the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Ballarat could be sued as vicariously liable for sexual abuse committed by an assistant parish priest, one Coffey, against the plaintiff DP in 1971, when he was 5, even though the judge was “not convinced that Coffey can be treated as an employee of the Diocese given the absence of any formal employment contract or arrangement” [211]. Continue reading