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Higgins’ post after Lehrmann ruling

Brittany Higgins has made her first public comment after Bruce Lehrmann lost his defamation case and a judge ruled he raped her.

Barrister Jennifer Robinson breaks down Justice Michael Lee’s verdict on the Bruce Lehrmann defamation case. Justice Lee found Bruce Lehrmann engaged in non-consensual sex with Brittany Higgins. “I think it’s important to note that the judge went through in significant detail, all the myths and tropes about sexual violence that typically deny women justice in the criminal and even civil justice systems to reach this finding,” Ms Robinson told Sky News Australia. “So, I think Brittany Higgins has been vindicated by this ruling. “It’s taken a very long time to get here.”

Justice Michael Lee ruled that to the civil standard — that is the balance of probabilities — Mr Lehrmann had lied and had sex with Ms Higgins on the couch of Senator Linda Reynolds’ office in 2019 when she was too drunk to give consent.

The civil standard is different to the criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt.

His ruling meant Mr Lehrmann lost his defamation battle against Network 10 and journalist Lisa Wilkinson.

On Thursday, Ms Higgins posted a story on Instagram noting that submissions had opened for an Australian Law Reform Commission inquiry into justice responses to sexual violence.

Brittany Higgins has posted on social media for the first time since Bruce Lehrmann lost his defamation case. Picture: Supplied/Instagram

Bruce Lehrmann did not comment ro reporters after the judge made his ruling. Picture: NCA Newswire / Gaye Gerard

She is yet to speak about the ruling against Lehrmann.

Lehrmann pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual intercourse without consent when he faced trial in the ACT Supreme Court before the trial was abandoned due to juror misconduct.

The charge against him was subsequently dropped out of concern for Ms Higgins’ mental health if a retrial were to be ordered.

“Having escaped the lion’s den, Mr Lehrmann made the mistake of going back for his hat,” Justice Lee said in his judgment on Monday.

Justice Lee said after a “long night of drinking” and “having successfully brought Ms Higgins back to a secluded place, Mr Lehrmann was hellbent on having sex with a woman found sexually attractive.”

The charge against Lehrmann was dropped out of concern for Ms Higgins’ mental health if a retrial were to be held. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sharon Smith

“In his pursuit of gratification, he did not care one way or another whether Ms Higgins understood or agreed to what was going on,” Justice Lee said.

He dismissed the lawsuit because he upheld Network 10 and Ms Wilkinson’s truth defence, after finding that the allegations made by Ms Higgins during her The Project interview in February 2021 were substantially true.

However, he did find that the broadcaster’s conduct in respect of the Logies speech given by Ms Wilkinson, which delayed Lehrmann’s ACT Supreme Court criminal trial, was “egregious”.

Ms Wilkinson’s Logies speech, delivered eight days before the trial was due to begin and which referenced Ms Higgins, resulted in ACT Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucy McCallum delaying the trial “through gritted teeth”.

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