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The Chief Justice of the Family Court, Diana Bryant, the moral guardian of our kids has been forced to apologise to some of Australia’s most senior judges after they stormed out of a dinner hosted by her which featured a sexually explicit comedy act.

chief justice diana bryant
chief justice diana bryant

Australia’s Chief Justice of the High Court, Robert French, and his wife left the room in disgust after becoming offended by a comedy routine performed at a National Family Law Conference banquet in Hobart last Sunday.

The Sun-Herald understands the female comics acted out a sexually explicit sketch while wearing judicial robes and that when Justice French stood to leave, he was joined by many others throughout the room, including the NSW Supreme Court Chief Justice, Tom Bathurst, and his wife, as well as the Family Court judges Mark Le Poer Trench and Margaret Cleary.

Offended ... Justice Robert French.

Offended … Justice Robert French. Photo: Erin Jonasson

The booking for the evening’s entertainment was overseen by Chief Justice Bryant, who last week wrote an email to all those who attended, apologising for the incident and accepting ”full responsibility” for any embarrassment caused.

Yesterday, a Family Court spokeswoman said: ”Chief Justice Bryant was very honest and upfront. There was an error of judgment. Certainly it wasn’t to everyone’s taste and as a result, some people did walk out. I can confirm she has apologised personally to all those who were there. She doesn’t wish to add anything else publicly.”

It is the third time in recent weeks that widespread offence has been caused by inappropriate jokes or comments at high profile dinner functions. Earlier this month, Labor was forced to go into damage control after a comedian at the union’s dinner told a sordid joke about Tony Abbott and his chief of staff, Peta Credlin. Prior to that, talkback host Alan Jones was inundated with thousands of complaints after he made inappropriate remarks about the death of the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard’s, father, at a Sydney University Liberal Party dinner.

The latest scandal erupted last Sunday during a formal banquet style dinner of judges held at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart.

More than 100 guests were present and host, Justice Bryant, was hoping for a fun-filled evening to usher in the National Family Law Conference, due to start the following morning.

She personally organised for two female comedy entertainers to be flown in from Melbourne to perform on the night. She also agreed for the comedians to ”modify” one of their regular sketches for the judges.

The Sun-Herald understands that about 20 minutes into the function, the double act made their entrance and began a performance featuring song and a ”family law parody”. They are also understood to have pushed boundaries by engaging in simulated sex while wearing judicial robes.

A source close to Justice Bryant said last night: ”She was aware of the type of routine these people performed and knew they were going to add a bit of flavor for the judges present. But she had not witnessed the routine until the night and realised as it was being played out that it was not everyone’s cup of tea.”

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