Former High Court judge faces criminal sex investigation
Federal police have confirmed they have been asked to launch a criminal investigation into former High Court judge Dyson Heydon both into claims he "groped" a senior female lawyer and that he sexually harassed six young female associates.
The latest bombshell to rock the legal profession was revealed today by the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold SC who said he had acted after an independent inquiry carried out by the High Court and also after media reports.
Mr Heydon, 77, has denied allegations of sexual harassment through his lawyers Speed and Stacey. They did not reply to requests for further comment on the latest development yesterday.
The Australian Federal Police local policing arm, ACT Policing, said on Tuesday they were aware of the allegations and yesterday went further to say they had been asked by Mr Drumgold to investigate "alleged sexual harassment by former High Court Justice Dyson Heydon".
The alleged harassment occurred over the 10 years he was on the High Court bench from 2003 until 2013 when he moved to chambers in Sydney's Philip Street. An independent inquiry carried out for the High Court by Dr Vivienne Thom, who used to serve as the Federal Government's Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, recently found the complaints by the associates were true.
Dr Drumgold told The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday that he had written to the AFP on Tuesday through formal channels drawing their attention to the High Court investigation and media reports about the former ACT Law Society president Noor Blumer and an alleged incident where he "groped" her at a University of Canberra Law School ball in 2013.
Mr Drumgold said his letter included "a strong recommendation that both incidences be investigated to determine whether or not criminal charges should result."
"I must stress that communications of this nature between the AFP and DPP are a routine part of operations between the two departments," Mr Drumgold said.
Ms Blumer did not comment yesterday when asked if she welcomed the criminal investigation. A spokesman for Maurice Blackburn, the law firm representing three of the former judge's associates, said it had no comment.
The three associates including Rachael Collins and Chelsea Tabart will pursue civil claims against Mr Heydon and the Commonwealth for harm caused by his behaviour, their lawyer Josh Bornstein has said.
An ACT Policing spokesman said they had received the request from Dr Drumgold to investigate the allegations.
"Consistent with routine operations this information will be assessed," the spokesman said.
*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as Former High Court judge faces criminal sex investigation