Bendigo lawyers have welcomed promised changes to the law that will make it possible for the courts to overturn unfair compensation payments to the victims of child abuse.
The Victorian government has announced it will amend legislation so courts can set aside past deeds of release and court judgments related to child abuse.
"Many survivors were pressured by institutions to settle claims for far less than their worth, often without independent legal advice," Kelsey Johnston, from Bendigo firm Arnold Dallas McPherson, said.
"These legal changes will allow some survivors to revisit their claims and possibly obtain more adequate compensation."
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found it took, on average, 22 years for a victim to come forward.
It said limitation periods for victims of child sexual abuse were inappropriate given the long time it took for people to disclose their abuse.
It also reported civil litigation systems and redress schemes had not provided justice for many survivors.
Legislation introduced in Victoria in 2015 did away with limitation periods of victims of all child abuse.
Prior to that, a survivor had to pursue civil litigation within six years of realising they had been abused, or within 12 years of the abuse.
The new laws will apply to victims of all forms of child abuse where a deed of release was signed.
"Many victim survivors were pushed into these agreements without proper legal advice so it's important we give them an avenue to overturn these often unfair compensation orders," Attorney-General Jill Hennessy said.
Lawyer John McPherson advised survivors questioning their initial compensation to seek legal advice.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.