The Australian Trade Union Movement wanted the commissioner, Dyson Heydon, to disqualify himself from the inquiry on the basis of “apprehended bias”
Justice Heydon said “I have considered all the submissions. In my opinion, the applications must be dismissed,”.
Justice Heydon also said his initial intention to speak at the Liberal Party event did not show a political bias
“The mere fact that a person agrees to deliver a speech at a particular forum does not rationally establish that the person is sympathetic to, or endorses the views of, the organiser of that forum,”stated Justice Heydon.
Greens MP Adam Bandt has called on the prime minister to shut down the commission saying that Justice Heydon agreeing to attend a Liberal fundraiser doesn’t pass the pub test and with the commissioner deciding himself that he’s not biased won’t change it either.
“The commission’s work will forever be tarnished and instead of waiting for further legal action, Tony Abbott should step in and bring it to an end.” Said Mr Bandt.
Mr Bandt also highlighted that “If a judge agreed to attend a fundraiser for the prosecution, there would be a mistrial. If Tony Abbott insists on continuing his inquiry, parliament should have the final say over any new commissioner and any new terms of reference.”
The secretary of the ACTU, Dave Oliver, stated “Despite the decision today of Dyson Heydon, the reality is that this royal commission is now terminally tarnished. Any recommendation out of this can’t be taken seriously,”
The attorney general, George Brandis, told Sky News the government is pleased with this decision.