NSWCCL President on PM's rape claim response

Media coverage: 7News

'Senior lawyers have schooled the prime minister on his understanding of Australia's criminal justice system as they urge him to launch an independent investigation into rape allegations against a senior minister...

The NSWCCL's president Pauline Wright says passing the issue to the federal police is "nothing short of an abrogation" of Mr Morrison's responsibility for the proper governance of Australia.

"It is the prime minister, not the commissioner of the AFP, who is ultimately bound to consider whether the person is fit to serve in cabinet," she said on Tuesday.

"While the police investigation and criminal process should run its course, the prime minister should be considering as a matter of priority, and irrespective of any criminal process, the institution of an independent investigation into the complaint."

The council says Mr Morrison should follow the approach taken by the High Court and launch an independent inquiry.

Former High Court justice Dyson Heydon was last year found by the court's own independent inquiry to have sexually harassed six young female associates.

Ms Wright says independent investigations are a routine part of corporate and government department procedure for staff facing allegations of sexual harassment or bullying.

"Internal arms' length investigations are commonly undertaken in workplaces either in a parallel process if police charges are pursued, or as an alternative if police charges are not pursued," the former Law Council president said.'

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