Back to All News

Statement from Senator Sarah Hanson-Young on Full Federal Court decision

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 3 Mar 2021

I welcome the decision of the Full Federal Court in dismissing Mr Leyonjhelm’s appeal of the outcome of my defamation case against him for what the Court has described as "crass, offensive and obviously sexist" attack on my character and integrity.

My victory over the former senator is an important decision for all women. It sends a timely and critical message that women deserve to be safe and respected in our workplaces, in our schools and in our communities. It shows that speaking up and calling out abuse and harassment is important for holding perpetrators to account. It is hard and difficult to do, but by supporting the women who dare to speak up, we are supporting the rights of women and girls to be respected, everywhere.

Most importantly, the Full Federal Court’s unanimous decision on parliamentary privilege sends a strong message to parliamentarians that they are not above the law and in Mr Leyonhjelm’s case he could not use the cloak of parliamentary privilege to shield him from the consequences of his attack which "employed boys' own locker-room gossip and innuendo – of the most dubious provenance – to shame, ridicule and embarrass" me to the public at large.

This win means the charities I have nominated, Plan International and the South Australian Working Women’s Centre can finally get the money I will donate from the damages that Mr. Leyonjhelm has been ordered to pay. The work of these two organisations in supporting women in leadership and being safe at work is more important than ever.

Thank you to everyone who has reached out, supported me and given me strength throughout all of this.

This victory is for all our daughters.

Back to All News