Government settles sexual harassment claims against former High Court justice

'We have listened to them and we apologise,' says Attorney-General

Government settles sexual harassment claims against former High Court justice

The office of the Attorney-General has recently announced that a settlement of claims has been reached in a sexual harassment complaint against former High Court justice Dyson Heydon.

In 2019, three former High Court judges’ associates filed a sexual harassment complaint before the High Court that launched an investigation which probed into a total of six claims, led by Dr. Vivienne Thom.

The investigation found Dyson Heydon, who served in the High Court until 2013, had sexually harassed all six complainants.

“The Commonwealth has taken these claims very seriously. The settlements we have reached are consistent with that,”  Attorney-General Michaelia Cash said in a media release.

Cash said the government has discussed “in good faith” with the said associates. In a statement, the complainants said that their claims against the Commonwealth have now been resolved.

“We recognise [their] bravery at coming forward and telling their stories to Dr. Thom, the High Court and other Australians. These women have told us about what they have been through during, and since, their times as Associates of the High Court and the serious impacts on their lives,” Cash said.

Thom made recommendations to the High Court after her investigation and “all were accepted by the High Court and have been acted upon.”

“The Australian Government takes sexual harassment seriously – harassment is unacceptable in any context, whether in the workplace or elsewhere.”

“The Australian Government is committed to working with all sectors and organisations to create a culture of safe and respectful behaviour in all Australian workplaces. It has set out in its response to the [email protected] Report, the Roadmap for Respect, a clear and comprehensive path forward to preventing and addressing sexual harassment and to support meaningful change in our workplaces,” Cash said.

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