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Top legal women call on Attorney-General to establish independent complaints body for judges

More than 500 women in law, including female former judges, leading silks and law school deans have signed an open letter to Attorney-General Christian Porter calling on him to establish an independent body for complaints about the judiciary, and to address their concerns about “the quality, integrity and diversity” of the government’s judicial appointments.

“These women have seen terrible behaviour towards women tolerated in the profession, and
are adding their voices to these calls for reform,” said Professor Gabrielle Appleby, the Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW, who organised the letter.

Former High Court judge Dyson Heydon, pictured in 2015.

Former High Court judge Dyson Heydon, pictured in 2015.Credit: Anna Kucera

The letter comes in response to revelations by the Herald that former High Court judge Dyson Heydon was found by an independent investigation to have sexually harassed young female associates of the court.

The Herald also published allegations, including from a judge and from the former ACT Law Society President, about Mr Heydon’s inappropriate behaviour towards women in other settings.

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