District Court judge resigns after conduct complaint

·1-min read
Kelly Barnes/AAP PHOTOS

South Australian court officials say they are committed to providing a safe workplace for employees following the departure of a District Court judge.

Judge Timothy Heffernan resigned on May 17 after a complaint about his conduct was referred to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner.

The investigation has since been discontinued but the court continues to support affected employees, Chief Judge Michael Evans said.

"As the judge is no longer a judicial officer, the Judicial Conduct Commissioner was bound to terminate the investigation without making any findings," he said in a statement.

"The court takes all complaints of inappropriate judicial conduct very seriously."

SA Chief Justice Chris Kourakis said judicial officers should be held to the highest standards.

"I make no comment on the investigation of Judge Heffernan which has now terminated without any finding being made," he said.

"However, speaking generally, the community rightly expects that those persons to whom it entrusts the administration of justice observe the highest standards of respectful and decent conduct, according to all with whom they interact the dignity to which they are entitled.

"Any person who cannot meet those standards should not seek judicial office or expect to remain in office."

Judge Heffernan had also served in the Licensing Court and Environment, Resources and Development Court.

State Courts Administrator Penny Croser said the Courts Administration Authority was committed to providing a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace for all employees.

"We have a range of measures to support employees throughout any investigation and complaint management process," she said.

"At all times, the wellbeing of CAA employees is the priority when managing complaints, including complaints about a judicial officer.

"The CAA will continue to support the affected employees."