Peter Slipper leaves court yesterday. Photo: Amy McNeilage
The Speaker, Peter Slipper, is representing himself in today's hearing of the sexual harassment case bought by his former media adviser James Ashby.
Mr Slipper, who has a law degree, told the court he had tried but failed to find a lawyer to act for him today, although he did get legal advice for yesterday's mediation session.
"I tried until 9pm last night [to engage a lawyer for today]. I do intend to continue to try," he said.
The Speaker also apologised for showing "discourtesy" to the court for failing to show up to court, either in person or via a lawyer, on Tuesday, saying it was done "inadvertently".
Further, he apologised for entering the Federal Court building yesterday in a ComCar, which allowed him to avoid the media waiting outside.
Justice Steven Rares said it was inappropriate for Mr Slipper to enter the building's private secure car park in the government car, because all private litigants are expected to enter and exit the court via the public doors.
The Commonwealth and Mr Ashby have finalised the terms of their settlement, under which the former staffer will receive $50,000 and a commitment that MPs will undergo bullying and harassment training.
Julian Burnside, QC, said the settlement meant the Commonwealth formally withdrew its abuse of process application.
The hearing continues.