As the news spreads of Dyson Heydon’s sexual misconduct and it is reported that Three women to sue former High Court judge Dyson Heydon over sexual harassment allegations it is clear that there remains much work to do. Although Heydon says, in a statement released via his lawyers, that he “emphatically [denies] any allegation of sexual harassment or any offence”, the matter seems clear.
Most troubling in these revelations is the idea that these allegations were ‘common knowledge’ in the legal fraternity. And, I note with interest, that we still call it a legal fraternity.
It is up to men and people who are in powerful positions to be allies and and speak out against this kind of behaviour. Shame on those who knew about this and said nothing.
I’ve seen many tweets like this in the last few days:
Thread: I was an associate two years after #DysonHeydon left the HCA. I remember being warned of his behaviour when retired justices returned for events – warnings passed on by successive cohorts of female associates trying to protect themselves and each other. #MeToo #auslaw
— Brooke Greenwood (@brooke_greenwd) June 23, 2020
Language matters. We need to be careful about our language. We need to be careful about secrets.
No more ‘open secrets’ about powerful abusers. They need to be uncovered earlier and more often.