SA magistrate sacked over misconduct

An Adelaide magistrate has been sacked after an investigation found he engaged in inappropriate conduct with sexual connotations in relation to four women.

In a report by a judicial conduct panel, Simon Milazzo was found to have engaged in the behaviour over about eight years.

The women involved were considered subordinates, two of them court staff members and two junior lawyers.

"The magistrate has demonstrated limited insight into the inappropriateness of his behaviour," the panel said in its findings.

It said Mr Milazzo had also denied the most damning aspects of his conduct in relation to two victims.

"The panel acknowledges there is no question about the competence of the magistrate in discharging his in-court judicial duties.

"However, the panel notes that a judicial officer has obligations to conduct himself appropriately at all times, particularly in respect of junior staff, chambers staff and junior lawyers."

The panel recommended Mr Milazzo be removed from office.

Chief Magistrate Judge Mary-Louise Hribal said that recommendation had been accepted as she acknowledged the strength and courage of the victims who had made complaints and given evidence.

"I am very sorry 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."

Supreme Court Chief Justice Chris Kourakis said judicial officers were subject to the same laws and standards of acceptable behaviour applicable to all.

"Everyone has a right to a safe workplace. Power imbalances must be guarded against," he said.

"Bullying, harassment, discrimination or victimisation of any kind cannot be tolerated."

Justice Kourakis said following extensive consultation with court staff, the State Courts Administration Council had endorsed a suite of updated policies relating to workplace behaviour setting out clear standards of behaviour, support for victims and confidential avenues of reporting for both victims and witnesses.