As heads of jurisdiction of court and tribunals of the Commonwealth of Australia, we wish to make certain things clear in similar terms as heads of jurisdiction in Western Australia did earlier this week.

We are committed to ensuring a safe working environment for all staff. That commitment requires us to ensure that our staff are not subject to any form of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Sexual harassment in any workplace is unlawful and wholly unacceptable. It is also contrary to the demands of justice that judicial officers are sworn to uphold. For that reason any form of sexual harassment by a judicial officer is not only reprehensible, but a breach of the public trust.

Our courts and tribunals are taking steps to review their existing policies and procedures concerning this issue, and to ensure that they are effectively and clearly understood by staff. It is essential that all staff have the confidence that they are able to raise any concerns or complaints that they may have in the workplace and that those concerns or complaints will be properly addressed.

Dated 26 June 2020

Signed in hard copy

The Hon Justice James Allsop AO
Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia
The Hon Justice William Alstergren
Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia
Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court
The Hon Justice Iain Ross
President of the Fair Work Commission
The Hon Justice David Thomas
President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
The Hon John Dowsett AM
President of the National Native Title Tribunal

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