Politics with Michelle Grattan: Fleur Johns on the rule of law.
Michelle Grattan discusses the rule of law with professor of law Fleur Johns
The law has a serious problem with sexual harassment and woefully inadequate measures for dealing with it. Here's how that could change.
AAP Image/Joel Carrett
In an open letter to Attorney-General Christian Porter, more than 500 women working in the law from across Australia have sought changes to the way judges are disciplined and appointed.
In the wake of the allegations about Dyson Heydon, a key outstanding question is reforming Australia's opaque judicial appointments system.
We have strong sexual harassment laws on paper. But there is too much emphasis on victims coming forward and making a complaint.
The culture of the legal profession has been built by men for men over centuries. It continues to rely heavily on personal networks that reinforce the status quo.
There is a vacuum within the legal profession that allows sexist, racist and other troubling conduct to go unaddressed. This must change.
Sexual harassment is endemic within the law. This inquiry's finding must be the catalyst for genuine and long overdue change in the profession.
An investigation commissioned by the High Court has found former judge Dyson Heydon sexually harassed six young female associates who worked for him when he was on the court.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Attorney-General George Brandis announce the findings of the trade union royal commission in December 2015.
Unions may well feel justifiably aggrieved by the findings – and impact – of the trade union royal commission, but there are nonetheless lessons to be learnt from them.
Informed critique of the courts and their work is essential to the proper functioning of a democracy.
A "judicial activist", it seems, decides cases in favour of a preferred (non-“mainstream”) litigant or interest, to reach a result that is inconsistent with a conservative worldview.
The return of the ABCC legislation might be a double dissolution trigger.
The key issues from the Royal Commission into union activities were about governance, but these are not being addressed.
Research reveals that strengthening democratic processes within unions helps defeat corruption.
Dyson Heydon's recommendations for union reform represent a steamroller approach to industrial democracy.
Labor says it will move a motion in the Senate this week for a message to be sent to the Governor-General, requesting he dismiss Dyson Heydon as royal commissioner.
Given the Governor-General usually acts on the advice of the government and its ministers, an address from the Senate on Dyson Heydon is unlikely to have any effect.
Trade union royal commissioner Dyson Heydon refused to find that he was affected by apprehended bias.
There are inherent shortcomings in a procedure that asks judges to make objective and rational assessments about how their own conduct, relationships or interests might appear to others
Applications from trade unions failed to convince Dyson Heydon to disqualify himself as royal commissioner.
Dyson Heydon didn't accept that merely agreeing to give the Sir Garfield Barwick lecture could create an appearance of bias. Judges and royal commissioners are allowed to have political views, he said.
Commissioner Dyson Heydon during a hearing of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption in August.
AAP Image/Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption
Dyson Heydon has dismissed the unions' application that he quit the royal commission into trade union corruption on the ground of "apprehended bias".
University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker and Michelle Grattan discuss the week in politics.
Joe Hockey’s difficulty in carrying the economic reform case was obvious this week.
There's an ad on TV that starts: "If you were me, what would you do next?" If I were Tony Abbott, I'd scheme to get a new treasurer without the existing one blowing me up.
The application for royal commissioner Dyson Heydon to quit follows his acceptance of a invitation to deliver the Garfield Barwick address.
Royal commissioner Dyson Heydon has delayed his decision on union applications that he stand down on the grounds of "apprehended bias".