Responsive law and legal systems: what the problem of clerical child sexual abuse teaches about the law’s capacity to respond to complex problems

Image: church - Lachlan Gowen (unsplash)

Event details


Date & time

Thursday 05 September 2019


Seminar Room 1.13, Coombs Extension Building (8), Fellows Road, ANU
ANU Canberra


Meredith Edelman


School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet)

This seminar is Meredith Edelman’s final thesis presentation. Meredith’s thesis is Judging the Church: Legal Systems and Clerical Sexual Abuse of Children and is an investigation of law, legal systems, and the problem of sexual abuse of children by clergy in Catholic institutions. The thesis analyses four very different legal systems—canon law, tort law, bankruptcy, and a Royal Commission—in the context of two Catholic dioceses in rural areas of Australia and the United States. By comparing legal systems with very different underlying theories, doctrines, and procedures as they handle legal actions arising out of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Meredith is able to compare the systems against Nonet and Selznick’s typology of law. By identifying the legal systems as repressive, autonomous, or responsive, it is possible to think through why some of these systems have been more effective than others at meeting stakeholder needs.

About the speaker

Meredith Edelman is a PhD student at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), working under Professor John Braithwaite, with Valerie Braithwaite, Kate Henne, and Miranda Forsyth on her panel. She is currently working as a Lecturer in the Department of Business Law and Taxation at Monash Business School, where she teaches insolvency, corporate crime, and business law.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet