This post deals with sexual assault and might be triggering for some readers.
On Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared the issue of historic rape allegations against Attorney-General Christian Porter to be concluded.
With NSW Police unable to investigate due to lack of admissible evidence, Mr Morrison posed that "we should be able to move on".
"There is no alternative process," he said. "There is no alternative rule of law that should apply to one Australian and not to another."
A quick recap...
The Prime Minister's comments came amid growing calls for an independent inquiry into the allegations that Mr Porter raped a 16-year-old girl in 1988 when he was 17 years old.
The claims were detailed in a letter sent to the offices of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Labor Senator Penny Wong and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young last week by friends of the woman, who is no longer alive.
She took her own life after putting the allegations to the police in February 2020.
Initial media reports about the letter referred only to a "senior cabinet minister" as the subject of the claims. But on Wednesday, Mr Porter fronted the media to identify himself as the accused and strenuously deny having assaulted the woman.
Australian Attorney General Christian Porter denies rape allegation.— AFP News Agency (@AFP) March 4, 2021
Speaking at a press conference in Perth, Porter identified himself as the unnamed cabinet minister accused of raping a 16-year-old girl, but denies the allegation pic.twitter.com/1EMr27zu8j
He is now taking leave to deal with the fallout of the allegations and to take care of his mental health. He says when he returns, he won't be standing down.
But for the friends of the woman who felt compelled to share her story, and for her family who say they also support an independent inquiry, the situation is far from concluded. They aren't ready to just "move on".
So what next? What's the point of an inquiry? And are there other legal avenues available?
Mamamia's daily news podcast, The Quicky, spoke to Marque Lawyers' Michael Bradley, the lawyer for the late woman behind the allegations. This is his perspective.
Why can't police proceed with an investigation? Is there no avenue by which to pursue a criminal case?
"No, not realistically," Bradley said. "I think the conclusion [the police] reached is certainly understandable because of the nature of sexual assault cases.