Former judge to investigate sacking of Trinity Grammar teacher who cut student’s hair

Trinity Grammar appoints Raymond Finklestein for inquiry into firing of deputy headmaster

Melbourne


A former federal court judge and Queen’s counsel will investigate the sacking of a deputy headmaster who gave a student a haircut.

Raymond Finkelstein has been appointed by the elite Trinity Grammar school to conduct an independent inquiry into the firing of former deputy headmaster Rohan Brown, who lost his job after cutting a student’s hair before a school photo.

The sacking sparked an administrative crisis at the prestigious Melbourne school.

Students have held protests, and three members of the school’s governing council have resigned under pressure from parents and former students angered by the decision.

The Old Trinity Grammarian’s Association — a group of former students — has threatened to sue the school if Brown is not reinstated.

On Friday the school announced Finklestein and barrister Renee Enbom — who represented actor Rebel Wilson in her defamation suit against Bauer Media — would lead an “independent review” of the sacking.

Finklestein and Enbom agreed to conduct the review on the understanding they would have “the full cooperation of school staff and the school council”.

“The school has requested the review to be completed as soon as possible,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.

“Terms of reference for the review will be made available to the school community in the coming days, as will the findings and recommendations.”

The school also said it would “not adopt” resolutions made by the Old Grammarian’s association, potentially paving the way for the haircut dispute to find its way to the courts.

The association has threatened legal action against Trinity if the entire council does not resign by Friday afternoon, reinstate Brown and demote the principal to interim headmaster with restricted powers.

Besides his work as a federal court judge, Finkelstein was the author of an independent inquiry into media regulation in Australia in 2012.

He is also a former president of the Australian Competition Tribunal and in 2011 was appointed an adjunct professor in the law faculty at Monash University.

Last year Labor sought his legal advice over the citizenship cases of MP David Feeney and senator Katy Gallagher .

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