SA magistrate removed over workplace harassment

A South Australian magistrate was removed from office last week after a judicial review panel found he had sexually harassed four women.

The announcement of Magistrate Simon Hugh Milazzo’s removal from judicial office was announced in the Upper House of South Australia’s Parliament by state Attorney-General Kyam Maher on Thursday.

SA Chief Magistrate Judge Mary-Louise Hribal confirmed Milazzo’s discharge from the bench in a statement released the same day.

Judge Hribal said a report of the SA Judicial Conduct Panel on Mr Milazzo, 68, had been tabled in Parliament, finding the complaints against him proven and recommending his removal as a magistrate.

“The Governor has acted on that opinion and removed the magistrate from office,” she said. “Judicial officers are subject to the laws and standards of acceptable behaviour which are equally applicable to all.

“Everyone has a right to a safe workplace. Power imbalances must be guarded against. The panel report and recommendations are a clear reminder to all judicial officers that we must be beyond reproach.


“I will continue to work with magistrates to ensure that the standards outlined in the Judicial Officer Appropriate Workplace Conduct Policy are upheld. Magistrates will continue training about harassment, including sexual harassment.”

Judge Hribal also acknowledged the “strength and courage” of the women who had stepped forward to report Mr Milazzo’s behaviour and then give evidence before the panel.

“I am very sorry that they have been harmed by the conduct of a Magistrate of this Court,” she said. “Whilst I have not yet met with all of the victims, I would like to listen to, and learn from, what they have to say, if they wish to speak with me.”

Mr Milazzo, 68, was suspended on full pay when allegations of workplace harassment against five women between 2012 and 2020 were made in July last year.

The complaints first surfaced as a result of a survey conducted as part of a review into sexual harassment in the state’s legal profession.

Read the SA Chief Magistrate’s statement.

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