New claims of sexual harassment against former judge

 

Four more former High Court staff have made allegations of sexual harassment and bullying against former justice Dyson Heydon.

The new claims come after an independent inquiry by Vivienne Thom found Mr Heydon had harassed six female former associates, for which High Court Chief Justice Susan Kiefel apologised in June.

An independent inquiry found former High Court judge Dyson Heydon sexually harassed six female judges' associates, which he categorically denies. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett
An independent inquiry found former High Court judge Dyson Heydon sexually harassed six female judges' associates, which he categorically denies. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett

Following Dr Thom's report, the High Court contacted 108 former associates who worked during the time Mr Heydon was on the bench and, as a result, four people had come forward with fresh allegations, a Senate Estimates committee heard on Thursday.

A High Court spokesman said three of the new allegations related to sexual harassment, and one related to a claim of bullying.

 

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"The four individuals who made allegations to Dr Thom were very clear that, although they wanted this information to be provided to the Court, they were not making formal complaints and did not expect, or want, these matters to be investigated," he said.

"Dr Thom did not recommend that any further action be taken in respect of these discussions."

The spokesman said eight people in total had come forward after the High Court contacted former staff, but some of the discussions related to Dr Thom's "earlier investigation" rather than new claims.

"Dr Thom advised the Court that those comments did not affect the findings of her earlier investigation and she did not recommend any further action," he said.

Mr Heydon has "categorically denied" allegations of inappropriate behaviour or breaking the law.

 

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Senators were told the High Court had also passed on contact details for ACT Policing to six former associates who were allegedly harassed by Mr Heydon.

During estimates it was revealed ACT Policing, a division of the Australian Federal Police, had requested the Thom report, but for privacy reasons the court was leaving the decision to the alleged victims if they wanted to provide information.

High Court chief executive and principal registrar Philippa Lynch told the hearing the High Court had put in place a new human resources policy for staff who worked in judges' chambers and revised its induction program.

Originally published as New claims of sexual harassment against former high court judge



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