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18 June 2021 | Podcasts | Article by Alan Collins

HJ Talks About Abuse: The Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency

HJ Talks About Abuse: The Catholic Safeguarding Standards AgencyHJ Talks About Abuse: The Catholic Safeguarding Standards AgencyHJ Talks About Abuse: The Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency

In this episode of HJ Talks about Abuse podcast, Alan Collins and Feleena Grosvenor discuss the new Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (“CSSA”).

In November 2020, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (“IICSA”) published the final report in relation to child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The final report stated, among other conclusions and criticisms, that the Catholic Church appeared at times to care more about the impact of abuse on the Church’s reputation than on the victims.

The Catholic Church created the CSSA and published an Action Plan in response to the IICSA report.

The CSSA creates a professional standard to which all Catholic Dioceses and Religious Life Groups in England and Wales will be accountable. This means that the body will be able to sanction clergy who do not meet those standards.

Mr Nazir Afzal has been appointed as chair of the CSSA. His appointment is said to represent “a seismic shift in culture” that is desperately needed.

He was the former Chief Crown Prosecutor in the Rochdale grooming gang cases as the Chair of their new safeguarding agency.

The CSSA also appoints Stephen Ashley as the Deputy Chair. He is a former Assistant Chief Constable who authored a Home Office report on the conduct of the police during the investigations into sex offences committed by former television personality Jimmy Savile.


We encourage anyone who has comments or concerns relating to this subject, or about abuse in general, to get in touch with Alan Collins.

Author bio

Alan Collins is one of the best known and most experienced solicitors in the field of child abuse litigation and has acted in many high profile cases, including the Jimmy Savile and Haut de la Garenne abuse scandals.  Alan has represented interested parties before public inquiries including the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, and IICSA (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse).

Internationally, Alan works in Australia, South East Asia, Uganda, Kenya, and California representing clients in high profile sexual abuse cases. Alan also spoke at the Third Regional Workshop on Justice for Children in East Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok hosted by Unicef and HCCH (Hague Conference on Private International Law).

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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