Lawler deserved to be sacked from FWC: report

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Lawler deserved to be sacked from FWC: report

A report by Peter Heerey QC into the conduct of the former vice-president off the Fair Work Commission, Michael Lawler, concluded there was a reasonable basis for federal parliament to remove him from the commission if he had not resigned.

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A report by Peter Heerey QC into the conduct of the former vice-president off the Fair Work Commission, Michael Lawler, concluded there was a reasonable basis for federal parliament to remove him from the commission if he had not resigned.

The report was tabled in parliament yesterday and was redacted to exclude personal medical/health information.

Strong criticism


The report strongly criticised the behaviour of the former vice-president. Some extracts from the report illustrate the depth of criticism:

“ … the vision of a middle-aged, quasi-judicial figure presenting on national television home movies of overseas holidays with his girlfriend, accompanied by saccharine lovers’ chitchat, is at least undignified.


"…It is likely to provoke that most insidious form of damage to reputation and authority – ridicule.


"... While perhaps not decisive if considered in isolation, this incident [i.e. using expletive laced language in a TV interview] is consistent with the overall impression of a person recklessly indifferent to his standing and reputation as a public official with the rank and status of a judge, and the reputation of the FWC.

"… [in secretly recording conversations with the president of the commission, Iain Ross…] it would seem that Vice President Lawler has committed serious offences against the Surveillance Devices Act. The aim of this shabby exercise is to trap Justice Ross into some inconsistency.

"… [his behaviour] demonstrates a standard of behaviour that falls far below what the Australian public is entitled to expect from persons holding such high quasi-judicial office.”

Read the full report here.

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