3.3 Exceptional circumstances
The Operator may allow a person to apply for redress in exceptional circumstances, where:
- the application is made within the last year of the Scheme's operation, or
- where a person is in prison and meets the requirements outlined below.
In order for an application to be made in exceptional circumstances, a person must contact the Operator prior to making the application.
Applying for redress in exceptional circumstances whilst in prison
For the purposes of the Scheme, a person is in prison if:
- the person is being lawfully detained (in prison or elsewhere) while under sentence for conviction of an offence and not on release on parole or license, or
- the person is undergoing a period of custody pending trial or sentencing for an offence.
Generally, a person cannot apply for redress if they are in prison, but can apply once they are released from prison. However, a person can apply for redress if there are exceptional circumstances justifying an application to be accepted.
The Operator will make an assessment on whether exceptional circumstances exist when the person is:
- in prison and after they are released from prison, they will be too ill to make an application for redress or respond to a request for information, or
- expected to be in prison until after the Scheme closes on 30 June 2028.
If the 2 circumstances above do not apply, the Operator will give notice to the relevant state or territory Attorneys-General (or nominated representative), both where the person experienced the relevant abuse; and where the person is in prison. The notice will:
- request advice about whether the Operator should consider the application
- include enough information for the relevant Attorneys-General's to provide advice to the Operator on the applicant's case, and
- ask that the advice is provided within 28 days from the date the notice was provided.
In making a determination about whether exceptional circumstances exist, the Operator will give greater importance to the advice provided by the Attorney-General of the jurisdiction where the person experienced abuse. With this information, the Operator will then decide if exceptional circumstances exist, allowing the person to apply.
If the Operator determines that no exceptional circumstances exist, the application is taken to have not been made. This means the person will not be able to apply for redress until they are released from prison.