Police seek Heydon report from High Court

An independent inquiry found former High Court judge Dyson Heydon harassed six judges' associates.
An independent inquiry found former High Court judge Dyson Heydon harassed six judges' associates.

The High Court will only provide police with a sexual harassment investigation report on former justice Dyson Heydon if associates who made the allegations consent.

The court has also revealed more former staff allege Mr Heydon sexually harassed and bullied them.

An independent inquiry commissioned by the court found six former judge's associates were harassed by Mr Heydon when he worked there.

He denies the allegations.

Federal police asked the High Court for the report in August.

But the court is not prepared to hand it over without getting permission from the former staff.

High Court chief executive Philippa Lynch said the former associates could provide their parts of the report to police.

"If the AFP wanted to press the matter I would have to seek agreement from the associates involved, given the report contains very sensitive personal information and some of the associates, well former associates, had requested confidentiality," Ms Lynch told a Senate estimates hearing on Thursday.

"I haven't formally refused a document."

The High Court announced the findings in June before writing to more than 100 former staff to uncover the extent of sexual harassment involving associates.

Four more staffers have since made allegations to Dr Thom, who led the initial investigation, with some of the information relating to that inquiry.

Three of those were allegations of sexual harassment and one was an allegation of bullying.

"The four ... were very clear that, although they wanted this information to be provided to the court, they were not making formal complaints and did not expect, or want, these matters to be investigated," a court spokesman told AAP.

"Dr Thom advised the court that those comments did not affect the findings of her earlier investigation and she did not recommend any further action."

Issues raised in the investigation were referred to the AFP by Canberra's director of public prosecutions.

The AFP first contacted the court in late June, asking Ms Lynch to pass police details on to the associates and their lawyers.

She did, and the police asked for the report in August.

At that time, there had been no complaints made to the AFP.

Ms Lynch said the court had updated its human resources policy to ensure issues raised in the report were covered.

Associates now have the opportunity to speak with Ms Lynch about their experience when they finish at the court.

The High Court has also changed its confidentiality rules so the provisions no longer extend to workplace matters.

Australian Associated Press