ACSL has responsibility for facilitating reviews of complaints processes that have been managed by Australian Catholic Church Authorities.
ACSL’s Review Function
In accordance with clause 5.1(g) of its constitution, ACSL is responsible for “providing a review mechanism for complaints managed under a Complaints Handling Policy or otherwise”.
A Complaints Handling Policy means the National Response Protocol or any other complaints handling policy or procedure by whatever name applied by a Church Authority in furtherance of the National Response Framework or the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards.
A review of the investigative process, investigative findings, how the matter was managed or the outcome of a complaint can be requested by a party to the complaint (Complainant, Respondent and Church Authority).
The National Appeals and Reviews Panel
ACSL established the National Appeals and Review Panel (NARP) to meet its obligations under its constitution to facilitate reviews.
The National Appeals and Review Panel and its processes are established in accordance with the provisions of Stage 5 and Stage 6 of the National Response Protocol. ACSL can only facilitate a review in circumstances where a complaint was made to, and managed by, a Church Authority under a Complaints Handling Policy or otherwise.
Types of Reviews Available
There are two types of reviews available to parties of a complaint:
- a review of the investigation process and/or findings, and
- a review of how a complaint has been managed and/or the outcome of the complaint.
To request a review the complaint investigation must have been managed by a Church Authority under a Complaints Handling Policy.
Review of the investigative process or findings
If you are dissatisfied with the investigation process and/or findings of the investigator you can request ACSL to facilitate a review if you are:
- the Complainant,
- the Respondent (only where you have cooperated with the investigation process), or
- the Church Authority.
Review of how a matter has been managed or complaint outcome
If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your complaint matter was handled and/or the outcome of the complaint you can request ACSL to facilitate a review if you are:
- the Complainant, or
- the Respondent (only where you have cooperated with the investigation process),
and the Church Authority does not have its own independent review mechanism. If the Church Authority has its own independent review mechanism ACSL may not be able to facilitate a review.
Summary of Review Process
Click on the expanding boxes below to learn more about the Review Process.
- Requests for review must be made in writing to ACSL and sent to the Director of Complaints Response by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- The request will be assessed to determine if it meets ACSL’s scope to be referred to the National Appeals and Review Panel.
- If the request for review is accepted, the matter will be referred to the National Appeals and Review Panel.
- A reviewer is assigned by the Chairperson of the National Appeals and Review Panel to undertake the review and prepare a Review Report.
- If the reviewer considers that there has been a failure to observe the required processes, or identifies a deficiency in the findings, the reviewer, Chairperson and at least on other review panel member will meet to discuss the Review Report, findings and recommendations.
- The Chairperson of the National Appeals and Review Panel will provide a copy of the ‘Review Report’ to ACSL. This will include any recommendations by the reviewer and/or Panel Members.
- ACSL will provide the outcome, recommendation, and a copy of the report to all parties of the review.