ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold has written to police recommending they investigate allegations against former High Court judge Dyson Heydon.
- Mr Drumgold says the referral to investigate allegations against former High Court judge Dyson Heydon is part of a formal arrangement with the police
- Six female former judge’s associates have accused Mr Heydon of sexual harassment
- Mr Heydon emphatically denies the allegations
Mr Drumgold’s recommendation follows a statement released by the High Court on Monday, that an investigation it commissioned upheld complaints from six former judge’s associates of sexual harassment by Mr Heydon, claims he has categorically denied.
Three of the women announced on Tuesday that they planned to sue the Commonwealth and Mr Heydon for compensation.
On Wednesday, in a statement, Mr Drumgold said the referral to investigate the allegations was part of a formal arrangement with the police.
“On Tuesday 23 June 2020 I wrote to the AFP [Australian Federal Police] through this formal communication channel directing attention to two news articles,” he said in a statement.
The first of these items dealt with the High Court investigation.
“The second referr[ed] to an incident at the University of Canberra on 19 April 2013, with a strong recommendation that both incidences be investigated to determine whether or not criminal charges should result,” Mr Drumgold said.
The latter incident involved allegations from senior Canberra lawyer Noor Blumer.
The former ACT Law Society president said an incident with Mr Heydon at the University of Canberra Law School ball in 2013 left her “upset and disgusted.”
In a contemporaneous note made at the time, Ms Blumer said she complained about Mr Heydon to other people, and to the University of Canberra.
The university confirmed the complaint was received.
The ABC has repeatedly tried to contact Mr Heydon’s lawyers, but no response has been offered.
In a statement provided to the Sydney Morning Herald, Mr Heydon, via his lawyers, denied “emphatically any allegation of sexual harassment or any offence”.
“In respect of the confidential inquiry and its subsequent confidential report, any allegation of predatory behaviour or breaches of the law is categorically denied by our client,” a statement from his lawyers said.
“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.
“We have asked the High Court to convey that directly to the associate complainants.
“The inquiry was an internal administrative inquiry and was conducted by a public servant and not by a lawyer, judge or a tribunal member. It was conducted without having statutory powers of investigation and of administering affirmations or oaths.”
The investigation was undertaken by Dr Vivienne Thom, who used to serve as the Federal Government’s Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.
Mr Heydon sat on the High Court bench for 10 years.
Five of the six associates who lodged complaints with the court worked in his office.
There has been no response from police so far.