The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to sex abuse has launched a massive advertising campaign seeking victims to give their alleged accounts of abuse, which could have occurred up to 50 or more years ago.

A member of the legal fraternity who did not want to be named, has attacked the advertisements, claiming any evidence given by respondents could be challenged for its authenticity.

“Any person appearing in court as a result of the Royal Commission advertisements could be cross examined about the reasons for any allegations they make,” she said.

“The inquiry has given former school pupils or those from an institution a chance of settling some old scores.

“As a child the student could have had a grudge against teachers or priests because of disciplinary action, poor results or a host of other reasons.

“Many years later, if the allegations are not genuine, it makes them hard to defend, given the wide publicity surrounding the Inquiry.

“I would consider the evidence of any respondents to an ad would not be as strong as that from people who have contacted the Inquiry on a voluntary basis.”