The Australian government has offered a money-losing apology and settled a sexual harassment case against a former justice

Three women in Australia have settled a workplace sexual harassment case against a former Supreme Court justice.The Australian government has agreed to pay “historic” damages and apologies to the three plaintiffs, but the settlement amount is kept secret by confidentiality agreements, lawyers for the plaintiffs said Thursday.The three plaintiffs, who worked as associate justices in Australia’s Supreme Court, accused former Justice Dyson Hayden in 2019 of sexually harassing them while in office.The Supreme Court launched an internal investigation and found that the three and three other former court women had made allegations of sexual harassment against Hayden. The court issued a statement in June 2020 apologizing to the six victims, and the three later entered negotiations with the federal government.The Supreme Court of Australia is the highest judicial body in Australia, consisting of a Chief Justice and six Justices.Hayden, 78, served as justice from 2003 to 2013.His lawyer previously told Australian media that Hayden denied any wrongdoing and “did not intend to cause offence”.Australia’s attorney-general, Mykelia Cash, issued a statement on The 14th, confirming that the government and the three plaintiffs reached a settlement, and said that the government recognized the three plaintiffs’ “courage” to open their experience, “listened to them and apologized.”She stressed that the Australian government believes “sexual harassment cannot be tolerated under any circumstances”.A former Supreme Court justice accused of sexual harassment while in office has settled a case that is the first of its kind in Australia, AGence France-Presse reported, citing the plaintiff’s lawyer.Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s federal government has come under fire for its handling of a series of media Revelations about sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying of government and parliamentary staff ahead of federal elections scheduled for May.Speaking in parliament last week, Mr Morrison had to formally apologise to victims.(End) (Shen Min)

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