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SA Chief Justice creates dedicated email, offers to meet sexual harassment complainants in person 

Following a damning report into sexual harassment and assault in the state’s judicial system, the South Australian Chief Justice has offered to meet victims in person and away from the courts, insisting that he will support them if they come forward. It’s part of his wider commitments to eradicating the misconduct from the profession.

user iconNaomi Neilson 28 April 2021 Big Law
SA Chief Justice creates dedicated email, offers to meet sexual harassment complainants in person 
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Content warning: This article relates to sexual harassment and sexual assault

Among the harrowing accounts of sexual harassment in the state’s legal profession, it was revealed that a sitting South Australian magistrate had sent inappropriate texts to a legal practitioner in his courtroom, with one claiming that he was “imagining me kneeling between his legs at the bench”. The claims have prompted the Honourable Chief Justice Chris Kourakis to take steps to ensure victims are comfortable speaking up. 

Justice Kourakis said he was “disappointed” to hear that the complaints made to the inquiry included allegations about serving and retired judicial officers and said it was “very important that victims of sexual offending or sexual harassment” by judicial officers are given an opportunity to tell their story directly to him or other officers.


To allow that to happen, Justice Kourakis has established a dedicated email address (provided at the bottom of this article) for victims to reach out with their complaints about the conduct of any serving or former judicial officer in the state. Complainants are permitted to identify themselves in the email or to remain anonymous. 

“Any offending by judicial officers must be eliminated. Judicial officers must exemplify the respectful behaviours which the community expects,” Justice Kourakis said in a statement. “Any form of harassment is unacceptable.” 

Justice Kourakis added that he is also open for victims who would prefer to meet him in person to discuss their complaints. The complainant may be accompanied by a support person and can also nominate a judge, a Courts Administration Authority senior employee or a legal practitioner to be present at the time. This meeting is also permitted to take place away from the court to ensure confidentiality. 

“I will support any complainant who comes forward, who wishes to pursue the complaint formally, either by referring the matter to SA police or to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner. I have approached the commissioner of police to provide an easily accessible process for reporting the complaint,” Justice Kourakis said. 

The report made 16 recommendations on eradicating sexual harassment and assault from the profession, including establishing a bullying, harassment and discrimination working group and to deliver CPD sessions relating to sexual harassment and discrimination. The report also recommended moving away from the complaints mechanism process that has yet to work or inspire confidence. 

Commenting on the report’s release, Law Society of South Australia president Rebecca Sandford said: “The problem of sexual harassment is sadly pervasive across society, and it is everyone’s responsibility to do their part to eliminate it. 

“It’s critical that we seize on the momentum that has been building and work collectively to prevent workplace sexual harassment. We are optimistic and confident that the work being done at all levels, within and beyond the legal profession, is already having a positive impact on how we treat each other.” 

Victims wanting to reach out to Justice Kourakis and the Supreme Court with any allegations of sexual harassment and assault can contact the dedicated email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Victims can choose to remain anonymous and can opt to meet Justice Kourakis in person. 

Help is available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Respect on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). Each law society and bar association also has further contacts available on their respective websites.

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