Move to close WA Parliamentary sexual harassment loophole

Remember we were all wondering a few months ago how Troy Buswell had managed to continue his rise to the leadership of the Western Australian Liberal Party, despite his history of sexually harassing colleagues and staffers alike?

Maybe there’s a reason he got away with it, apart from “Oh, nobody really cares about that stuff”, “it was just drunken antics”, “boys like to have a bit of fun”, “it was a compliment really, dear”, and “can’t you take a joke?”

According to today’s West, it wasn’t technically actionable workplace sexual harassment at the time.

WA State Attorney-General Jim McGinty has moved this week to draft new sexual harassment rules that forbid parliamentarians from harassing staffers:

Currently, staff members must have an employment connection to the person they are accusing of sexual harassment for it to apply.

This is difficult to establish in parliament because there is no direct employment relationship between MPs and staff.

But under the proposed changes, sexual advances, innuendo or other actions by any MP to staffers could be subject to a sexual harassment allegation.

Nothing retrospective, though.

Categories: gender & feminism, law & order, Politics

Tags: , , ,

1 reply

  1. While I intellectually understand why a stable legal system must allow for people getting off on technicalities, it’s still infuriating that so many technical loopholes (a) are not caught in draft legislation (b) are not noticed for so long after proclamation of legislation (c) take so long to be amended once the problem is noticed.

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