Sarah Hanson-Young, Independent investigation into cabinet minister

Hanson-Young doesn't say whether she will or will not share the identity of the convicted member of parliament whether he is found guilty of sexual harassment.

As leading legal scholars assert, conviction is possible in view of the suspected victim's suicide, and government has a “crisis of integrity” on its hands, as a member of the Senate reports.

Ms. Hanson-Young has confirmed that Mr. Morrison has been quiet about the alleged past abuse allegations brought against a cabinet member, and she has opened the possibility of describing the claim in Parliament.

As the counsel for the woman who accused the cabinet minister of raping her in 1988 argued that the present situation was “untenable” because “there are actually 16 [cabinet ministers] with a shadow above them”, Hanson-Young made her remarks.

Because no other option is open, it is up to the minister to come forward, reveal himself, and step down, which should be followed by the creation of an external, impartial investigation to conduct an inquiry, according to Michael Bradley, a partner at Marque Lawyers.

This is not about criminal guilt. Resolving it is not feasible. The dilemma here is that there is a cabinet minister being faced with this accusation, and he wants to be cleared of any misconduct or suspended from office. It is a matter of etiquette.

As part of an impartial inquiry into the past abuse allegation against a cabinet minister, the suspected survivor will be given the right to be heard thus allowing the convicted MP the opportunity to clear his name.
As part of an impartial inquiry into the past abuse allegation against a cabinet minister, the suspected survivor will be given the right to be heard thus allowing the convicted MP the opportunity to clear his name.

Bradley commented that a kind of judicial investigation was needed to investigate the charges. In order to afford complete procedural justice to all, particularly the accused individual, the inquiry demanded "proper powers."

"There are many precedents for that, but it has to be above board and straightforward."

The minister accused of the historical rape was charged with "owning up" and clearing the identities of his colleagues. In the case that he does not, the prime minister does.

The other cabinet ministers should also look at their duty, but at the same time to their own reputations. It's cruel that they have to go on living like this. It's insane”

According to legal analysts, despite the woman taking her life, it is not unlikely that the police could recommend charges.

To date, Morrison has left the answer to senior ministers, who contend that the minister has the presumption of innocence.

The chief of staff of his office has led the press to a letter written by the Australian federal police commissioner, Reece Kershaw, asking members of parliament to immediately report offences to the police and to not “disseminate complaints via other means” including the media or third parties.

On Monday, Hanson-Young reported that the letter outlining the rape complaint, which was made public on Friday, contained a "significant compilation of evidence."

According to Hanson-Young, these also contained a letter to investigators the woman had written for her lawyer, a victim impact statement, and additional documentation containing pages from her diary when she was age 16 at the time of the alleged attack.

According to the New South Wales senator, when the woman took her own life, “the case essentially died with her, as far as the inquiry in New South Wales is concerned.”

“That makes it virtually difficult to solve this in a conventional way in the court in NSW.”

Hanson-Young claimed that an impartial inquiry will insure that the deceased plaintiff “had his voice heard” while still presenting him with an ability to “clear his name”.

We must recognize that there is a lack in confidence hanging over this government and Mr Morrison's cabinet. The convicted man stays in charge and is refusing to stand down, but we have no way of understanding how seriously the new government will take this case.

On the ABC's Radio National, Senator Hanson-Young was asked if she had talked of nominating the legislative minister as a means of seeking parliamentary privilege.

She responded: “The safest course of action will be for the prime minister to fix this beforehand — it is the right thing to do.”

The treasurer and deputy Liberal leader, Josh Frydenberg, announced on Monday that the police had the complaint and that he would let them respond.

He clarified that we here in Australia strictly adhere to the rule of law. A legal theory that holds that a person is presumed innocent unless proved guilty. The accusations and, of course, the reports that have surfaced in recent weeks have left us very worried.

Minister of financial resources Jane Hume, speaking to Sky News, cautioned that reports of sexual harassment could not be “weaponized and politicized”, which may prejudice the criminal investigation.

The Centre for Public Integrity's Geoffrey Watson has since demanded an official investigation, but told the Guardian Australia that a criminal action is “not out of the question” if the complainant's allegations are proved credible.

Former judge of the Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal, Stephen Charles, disagreed, saying that it was “not true” that the supposed victim's death meant a trial could not be held.

Charles claimed that investigators could rely on circumstantial facts, the actions of the accused, any possible statements the cabinet minister might have made to others, and findings of other witnesses to help prove that sex without consent happened.

In addition to the contemporaneous diary mentioned by Ms. Hanson-Young, the woman even told friends of her plan to kill herself before she did so.