The false, but persistent, notion of benefit of clergy

T. Krone

University of Canberra,

This paper draws on the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and examines the degree to which institutions have been prepared to treat allegations of child sexual abuse within their institution as an internal matter. It asks why have so many institutions failed in the past to report allegations of child sexual abuse to police? In particular, the paper looks at whether institutions have justified their responses using outdated and legally incorrect notions such as that of ‘the benefit of clergy’.


Tony Krone is Justice Studies convenor at the University of Canberra. He has actively researched and written on cybercrime issues, particularly online sexual exploitation of children. Tony has worked in practice as a criminal lawyer and legal policy advisor to government.


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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