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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.


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

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


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…]

Julia Gillard Lashes Abbott In Slipper Debate; Misogyny Speech

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has attacked Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, labelling him a misogynist, in a parliamentary debate over the future of Speaker Peter Slipper.

Gillard spoke on a motion from Abbott to remove Slipper from the post he stood aside from in April.

The Prime Minister began by saying: “I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not. And the Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever.”

She said of Abbott: “Because if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn’t need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror.” [Read more…]

Mal Brough Wins Liberal Party Preselection For Fisher

Mal Brough has won Liberal National Party preselection for the Queensland seat of Fisher.

Mal Brough

Fisher is currently held by Peter Slipper. Slipper left the LNP last year after accepting the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Brough previously represented the electorate of Longman but was defeated in the 2007 election.

Brough defeated five other candidates for the preselection, including the LNP’s former state director, James McGrath. Whilst former Prime Minister John Howard supported Brough, McGrath was supported by Joe Hockey, Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull.

Peter Slipper’s Statement To Parliament

House of Representatives Speaker Peter Slipper briefly presided over the chamber at 2pm today.

Slipper read a short statement that asserted his innocence of charges levelled at him, proclaimed his belief in the presumption of innocence, and decried trial by media.

Slipper then handed over to Deputy Speaker Anna Burke and left the House.

It was most likely Slipper’s last appearance as Speaker. [Read more…]

Abbott: Gillard Should Also Reject Thomson’s Vote

2.30pm – Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says the Prime Minister should not claim Craig Thomson’s vote whilst the allegations surrounding him are resolved.

Reacting to the earlier media conferences by Gillard and Thomson, Abbott said the government’s survival hinged on a “tainted” vote. He reiterated his call for an early election.

Abbott queried what had happened to cause Gillard to take action against Thomson and Slipper today. [Read more…]

Gillard Moves On Thomson And Slipper

12.20pm – Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced that Craig Thomson is to leave the ALP caucus to sit on the crossbenches in Parliament and Peter Slipper is to continue standing aside from his job as Speaker.

Julia Gillard

Speaking at a press conference at Parliament House, Gillard said “a line has been crossed in terms of respect for the parliament”. She stressed her belief in the presumption of innocence for both men. [Read more…]

Peter Slipper Releases Cabcharge Documents

Peter Slipper has released copies of Cabcharge vouchers which he says show that the allegations against him are a “complete fabrication”.

In recent days it has become clear that Slipper will be unable to return to the Speaker’s chair. Independents Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott and Andrew Wilkie appear to be opposed to his return and there are signs today that the government’s resolve to back Slipper is weakening.

Statement by Peter Slipper:

Please find attached cab charge dockets that I have this afternoon received from the Department of Finance and Deregulation.

These documents have all been completed by me and are clearly in my handwriting as I said they were.

The so called criminal allegation is a complete fabrication, just as the other claims are not accurate.

I repeat that I reject allegations that have been made against me.

I will make a further Statement on this matter in due course.

Shorten: I Agree With PM, But I Don’t Know What She Said

There was a bizarre interview with Gillard government minister Bill Shorten on the Sky News Agenda program today.

Shorten repeatedly claimed to support whatever Gillard had said, even though he didn’t know what she said.

Shorten appears to have moved away from whole-hearted support for Speaker Peter Slipper’s decision to stand aside pending resolution of travel expenses claims against him. However, Prime Minister Gillard has remained steadfast in defending Slipper’s decision to step down pending resolution of the criminal allegations but not the civil claim of sexual harassment.

Shorten appeared on Agenda at 4pm today.

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