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Victory For James Ashby As Federal Court Overturns Peter Slipper Harassment Decision

The Full Bench of the Federal Court has overturned the 2012 decision by Justice Rares in the Peter Slipper sexual harassment case.

In upholding the appeal by James Ashby, the full bench, consisting of Justices John Mansfield and John Gilmour, said:

“We are satisfied that the evidence before the primary judge did not warrant the adverse finding said to constitute an abuse of the court’s process on the two bases found and did not warrant the rejection by his Honour of the sworn and unchallenged evidence of each of [James] Ashby and [Michael] Harmer.”

Ashby was awarded costs. This represents a severe financial imposition on Slipper.

The court rejected an appeal by solicitor Michael Harmer, who was criticised by Justice Rares over his conduct of the case, but also said:

“Nonetheless, we have concluded that the adverse findings in relation to his conduct, with their flow on affect upon Ashby, ought not to have been made.”

The decision means that Slipper is now likely to face trial on the sexual harassment claims. The abuse of process decision of Justice Rares has been overturned. [Read more…]


James Ashby Says He Will Appeal Slipper Judgment

James Ashby, the man who levelled allegations of sexual harassment at former Speaker Peter Slipper, says he will appeal a Federal Court decision that dismissed the case as an abuse of process.

James Ashby

Ashby spoke briefly to media waiting outside the Federal Court this morning. He was said he was “extremely disappointed” with the decision and said it had been a “harrowing time” over the past eight months. [Read more…]


Abuse Of Process: Peter Slipper Sexual Harassment Case Thrown Out By Federal Court

The sexual harassment case brought by James Ashby against Peter Slipper has been thrown out as an abuse of process by a Federal Court judge.

In a scathing judgment, Mr. Justice Rares found against Ashby and ordered him to pay costs in the case brought against Slipper when he was Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Ashby immediately announced that he would appeal the decision.

  • Download the Federal Court judgment: PDF or Word

Full text of the Federal Court decision in Ashby v the Commonwealth and Peter Slipper.

FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Ashby v Commonwealth of Australia (No 4)
[2012] FCA 1411

Citation: Ashby v Commonwealth of Australia (No 4) [2012] FCA 1411

Parties: JAMES HUNTER ASHBY v COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA and PETER SLIPPER

File number: NSD 580 of 2012

Judge: RARES J

Date of judgment: 12 December 2012

Catchwords: PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – dismissal or stay – application for proceedings to be dismissed or stayed as an abuse of process pursuant to r 26.01(1) of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) – categories of abuse of process not closed – where allegations allegedly made in pleading for predominant purpose of a political attack to advance maker’s own interests – where some allegations made that were irrelevant, scandalous or calculated to injure – where applicant’s lawyer responsible for impugned allegations – where applicant and lawyer intended or aware that media would obtain a copy of pleading and publish allegations made in it [Read more…]


The Federal Court Discrimination Claim Against Slipper

This is James Ashby’s application to the Federal Court under the Fair Work Act alleging discrimination.

The application was lodged on April 20. It cites two respondents, the Commonwealth of Australia and Peter Slipper.

James Ashby's application to the Federal Court