Ashby to appeal Slipper sexual harassment ruling

James Ashby … will appeal decision.James Ashby will continue to pursue his sexual harassment case against former Federal Speaker Peter Slipper, declaring that he will take the matter to the workplace watchdog, Fair Work Australia, as well as appeal the recent Federal Court decision against him.

A spokesman for Mr Ashby told reporters outside the Federal Court in Sydney an appeal against the court’s recent dismissal of the case would be lodged in mid-January.

Speaking on behalf of Mr Ashby as Mr Slipper’s former aide looked on, media spokesman Anthony McClellan said they were planning to lodge Mr Ashby’s case with Fair Work Australia on Friday afternoon so that “the whole evidence and that of the witnesses can be tested in open court”.

In January, they would lodge a separate appeal against the Federal Court’s recent decision that the sexual harassment case lodged in that court was an abuse of the judicial process designed to damage Mr Slipper’s reputation for personal and political gain.

Mr Ashby had claimed he was the target of ”unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome sexual comments and unwelcome suggestions of a sexual nature” while working as Mr Slipper’s aide and media adviser between January and March this year.

Mr McClellan said: “Contrary to some public perceptions, James Ashby’s sexual harassment case against Mr Slipper has not been heard in court and no judicial finding has been made as to whether James was sexually harassed by Mr Slipper.”

“The only matter that’s been heard over the past eight months was Mr Slipper’s abuse of process case.”

“Later today we are planning to file James Ashby’s sexual harassment case with Fair Work Australia, with the aim that the whole evidence and that of the witnesses can be tested in open court at the appropriate time. This is designed to preserve and protect James’s legal rights.”

Mr McClellan said that Harmers Workplace Lawyers, which was strongly criticised by Federal Court Justice Steven Rares as being part of the abuse of process, would continue to represent Mr Ashby.

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