Former top Australian judge accused of sexually harassing staff


A former Australian High Court judge, Dyson Heydon, was found by an independent inquiry released on Monday to have sexually harassed six young female associates.

The inquiry, run by the former inspector general of intelligence and security, Vivienne Thom, was set up after the women took their complaints to Chief Justice Susan Kiefel in March 2019. However, Heydon denied the accusations.

“We are ashamed that this could have happened at the High Court of Australia,” Chief Justice Kiefel said in a statement.

She confirmed the lengthy investigation found that “the Honourable Dyson Heydon, AC, QC” had harassed six former staff members.

“The findings are of extreme concern to me, my fellow justices, our chief executive and the staff of the court,” the chief justice said.

The High Court is the highest court in the Australian judicial system. She apologised to the six women, saying “their accounts of their experiences at the time have been believed.”

Heyson, 77, a conservative legal scholar, served in the High Court from 2003 to 2013 and in 2014 ran a royal commission into trade union corruption.

Heydon denied the claims via his lawyers, who said “any allegation of predatory behaviour or breaches of the law is categorically denied by our client.”

“Our client says that if any conduct of his has caused offence, that result was inadvertent and unintended, and he apologises for any offence caused,” law firm, Speed and Stracey, said in a statement to the Sydney Morning Herald. (dpa/NAN)

– Jun. 22, 2020 @ 12:55 GMT |

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