THE government stepped up its attack on deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop on Tuesday night when a Western Australian Labor senator accused her of conducting asbestos litigation in "an immoral and inhumane manner".

Glenn Sterle told the Senate that Ms Bishop, who was a solicitor acting for CSR, should feel ashamed of the harm she had caused to the people of Western Australia.

He said she had demonstrated a total lack of judgment and failed to exercise the requisite degree of professional independence.

She had displayed "highly questionable values", and failed to live up to the ethical standards expected of her as a lawyer, by seeking to defeat the fair and efficient administration of justice.

Ms Bishop also had "serious questons to answer", about the suspicious disappearance of documents that may have been of assistance to the victims of Wittenoom.

Senator Sterle accused Ms Bishop of seeking to use procedural tactics to delay judgment, and exploiting technicalities to reduce compensation payable.

"In subsequent years, CSR's solicitor has pleaded that she was simply acting on her client's instructions and the advice of barristers when she sought to delay justice to dying men.

"But the solicitor, and she alone, is responsible for her conduct as a solicitor – she can't shift the blame to her clients or advising counsel".