Catholic Church sexual abuse cases have received worldwide attention, with lawsuits and nationwide investigations reported in various countries. This study examines a procedure – a hybrid between tort litigation and a victim compensation fund – that not only allowed sexual abuse victims to seek monetary compensation on an individual basis, but also non-monetary relief, including an apology, recognition, and measures against those responsible for the abuse. The publication of all decisions offers a unique opportunity to analyze what victims pursued by filing a claim, whether what they were offered matched their objectives, and what impacted the probability of victims obtaining certain types of non-monetary relief. After analyzing 1,237 decisions, this study reveals a mismatch between what victims sought and what they were offered. Surprisingly, the presence or absence of a few panelists (out of 27) turns out to be the best predictor of whether adjudicators ordered non-monetary relief. Consequently, whether victims obtained non-monetary relief did not only depend on a proper legal infrastructure, but mostly on the mentality and attitudes of those participating in the system.
There will be a light sandwich lunch available from 12.00 noon, with the session starting at 12.30.