Police will assess a request from the ACT's top prosecutor for there to be a criminal investigation into former High Court judge Dyson Heydon, who is facing a growing number of sexual misconduct allegations.
ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold SC told The Canberra Times he wrote to the Australian Federal Police on Tuesday.
He said he made "a strong recommendation" that officers investigate whether criminal charges should be laid against Mr Heydon.
Mr Drumgold said his correspondence had alerted police to an independent inquiry commissioned by the High Court.
The court announced on Monday that the inquiry, conducted by former inspector-general of intelligence and security Dr Vivienne Thom, found Mr Heydon sexually harassed six women who worked as judges' associates during his time on the bench.
Mr Drumgold said his recommendation also included that police investigate Mr Heydon over an alleged incident at the University of Canberra on April 19, 2013.
Canberra lawyer Noor Blumer, who was the ACT Law Society president at that time, has told The Sydney Morning Herald that Mr Heydon groped her and attempted to kiss her against her will at the university's annual law ball that night.
"I must stress that communications of this nature between the AFP and [Director of Public Prosecutions] are a routine part of operations between the two departments," Mr Drumgold said.
ACT Policing, the local arm of the Australian Federal Police, confirmed it had received Mr Drumgold's request for it to investigate Mr Heydon.
"Consistent with routine operations, this information will be assessed," a spokeswoman said.
"Due to privacy, ACT Policing does not comment on whether an individual is under investigation or not."
Mr Heydon, through his lawyers, has emphatically denied all allegations of sexual misconduct or predatory behaviour.
But the number of women accusing the former judge of wrongdoing continues to grow.
In addition to the six now former associates and Ms Blumer, a current judge has told the Herald on condition of anonymity that Mr Heydon touched her inappropriately when he was a judge and she was a barrister.
Former law students who attended Oxford University have also accused Mr Heydon of sexually harassing them during his visiting professorship at the prestigious UK institution.
The allegations about Mr Heydon have put the spotlight back on the long-standing issue of sexual harassment in the legal profession.
The High Court has already sought to address the issue by acting on all six recommendations made by the independent investigation.
"We have moved to do all we can to make sure the experiences of [the former associates] will not be repeated," Chief Justice Susan Kiefel said.
"There is no place for sexual harassment in any workplace.
"We nave strengthened our policies and training to make clear the importance of a respectful workplace at the court and we have made sure there is both support and confidential avenues for complaint if anything like this were to happen again."
Chief Justice Kiefel's actions have been praised across the country.
Here in the ACT, prominent legal figures have expressed hope that the matter might serve as a catalyst for change right across the profession.
They include Women Lawyers Association of the ACT president Danielle Mildren, who has described sexual harassment as "a pervasive problem" made possible by "systemic cultural issues".
The scale of the issue locally was highlighted by the results of a 2018 association survey, in which 57 per cent of respondents said they had been sexually harassed at work.
"It is clear that effective workplace training, accessible reporting mechanisms and greater support for women lawyers are needed in order to effectively address this issue and bring about effective cultural change in ACT legal workplaces," Ms Mildren said.
ACT Law Society president Chris Donohue and ACT Bar Association president Steven Whybrow have also voiced support for change, indicating their desire for the profession to stand against inappropriate behaviour from even its most senior members.