Court rules against anonymity in La Trobe case

Federal Court judge refuses to suppress names

There is a case in the Federal Court related to a misconduct inquiry at La Trobe U. Two staff who have complained about another to the university have asked for their names to be suppressed in the court case, which Justice Anastassiou has denied, for two reasons.

One is that they were named in an on-line news story, later taken down.

The other relates to the way La Trobe U conducts grievance investigations. In denying their request Justice Anastassiou acknowledged the pair’s desire for privacy. However, he concluded, “the legitimate personal interest of the interveners in maintaining their privacy in connection with the complaints process is not sufficient to conclude that the protection of their interests is necessary to prevent prejudice to the administration of justice.”

And while he acknowledged the university’s grievance process provides confidentiality for complainants, he rejected a submission that the court’s processes “should conform” to the way La Trobe works.

“I accept that the potential for publicity associated with a proceeding issued in connection with the grievance process may have an adverse effect upon the preparedness of complainants to invoke the process. However, in my view, that is not a sufficient reason of itself to warrant a suppression order by this Court in connection with such proceedings,” Justice Anastassiou said.


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