And on it goes

EXCLUSIVE:

by Perkin-Warbeck 

T
here is only one person standing between open warfare between Queensland’s judiciary and the Newman Government on the matter of the new laws to control bikie gangs – the Chief Justice, Paul de Jersey.

CJ de Jersey, both wily and wise, has been a Supreme Court justice since 1985 and got the top job in 1998. He has seen a succession of Premiers and Attorneys-General in his time and will undoubtedly see more before his scheduled retirement aged 70 in September, 2018.

Last weekend he did make some guarded comments about the controversy saying, “The public commentary bears a highly political flavour and thereby the courts should remain detached from that,” he said.

“(And) a challenge to the validity of the new (bikie) legislation could proceed in the Supreme Court, and that’s where challenges to grants of bail will be heard. (I) cannot by any public comment risk compromising the perceptions of the way in which the court discharges its duty in those situations,” he said.

The Chief Justice is first among equals and is not inclined to tell his fellow jurists what they can and cannot say even if he could but, clearly, his measured comments were aimed at them – in effect, he was telling Queensland judicial officers to pull their heads in.

Without a doubt, most if not all magistrates and judges resent governments restricting their independence in sentencing by, for example, imposing minimum mandatory sentences on those convicted. The new bikie laws do exactly that and the Newman Government is in no mood to compromise. They know they are on a winner with the public.

Some judges cannot help themselves from making comments which are easily exploited by the government and others as showing they are woefully out of touch with public sentiment. Judicial officers – unless they commit some horrendous crime – have a job for life and retire at 70 with a vastly generous superannuation. Queensland governments have to face the voters every three years.

Last week when sentencing a paedophile, District Court Judge Milton Griffin said, “I want to make it absolutely clear in this case the sentence I impose is not a sentence affected by any consideration of what might be said the public of Queensland wants.”

And just in case people didn’t get the message loud and clear that judges know best, he added, “Judges won’t be affected by what the public of Queensland want and to do so would be contrary to the oath of office.” 

It wasn’t calculated in the slightest degree to dispel any notion that judges were living in ivory towers.

Meanwhile the second most senior Queensland judge, Court of Appeal President Justice Margaret McMurdo, has written to the Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie urging him not to interfere with judicial discretion.

This letter, which mysteriously found its way to The Courier Mail, was written on 31 July after the government flagged dumping court-ordered parole and suspended sentences but before the new sex offender and bikie laws were introduced. She wrote that, “The interests of justice and the community are best served by arming judicial officers with the widest possible range of options when sentencing offenders. That is the way judicial officers can ensure the punishment fits the crime.”   

Justice McMurdo thoughtfully attached to her letter a clipping from The Economist which highlighted that tougher sentences around the world were not reducing crime.

Bleijie’s tart response, “Everyone is entitled to their opinion” was about as close as he could get without descending to obscenities when dismissing the concerns out of hand.

As this debate rages, the Acting Head of the powerful Crime and Misconduct Commission, Dr Ken Levy, got the legal fraternity, the Opposition and sundry other usual suspects into a lather by expressing his support for the government’s bikie laws.

Dr Levy, who was Director-General of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General during the ALP reign, faced a grilling from the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Commission over his statements which he strongly defended saying, “I certainly don’t accept that being in an independent role requires me to disagree with the government on every occasion or that I must remain silent.”  

Opposition Leader Anastacia Palaszczuk – a member of the Committee – said Dr Levy no longer had Labor’s confidence. The Committee chair, Independent MP Liz Cunningham, said she would not support a vote of no confidence in Dr Levy.

Divisions between the Police Union and the Police Commissioner – never far from the surface at the best of times – have also opened up over the bikie crackdown with President Ian Leavers appealing to the Police Minister Jack Dempsey to do more to protect officers from any bikie retaliation.

Leavers claimed that Commissioner Ian Stewart didn’t “have the will” to provide sufficient protection and that officers should be allowed to decide themselves if they could take home their guns to protect themselves and their families.

Stewart responded by saying that, “ … we have policies around this and we are happy to deal with any officer who feels the need to take their weapons home, particularly if it is around personal security.”  

With the Newman Government hoping that bikies would get long jail sentences under the new laws, Queensland’s already crowded jails will be an even tougher environment from next May when smoking is banned.

Prison guards’ union secretary Michael Thomas has warned, “This is just putting more fuel on the fire and we have real concerns there’s going to be a crisis.”

For your average bikie, not being able to light up will be a far more provoking penalty than wearing the suggested pink uniforms.

MONKEY LAW

Supreme-court

EXCLUSIVE:

by William Puisne

England soccer manager, Roy Hodgson, had a PC poison dart shot at him for telling this joke;

After using only monkeys in space capsules, NASA decided to send a man into space with a monkey.
Following launch, the intercom crackled, “Monkey, fire the retros.”
A little later, “Monkey, check the solid fuel supply.”
Later still, “Monkey, check the life support systems.”
The astronaut is annoyed and testily radios NASA, “When do I get something to do?”
NASA replied, “Feed the monkey in half an hour.”

Raceophobic, islamophobic, homophobic, lesbophobic, fatophobic, transgenderophobic, youthophobic??
Come off the grass.

Nevertheless, a complaint was made. The remark was capable of offence. And he had to apologise – to the universe at large – saying he hadn’t intended any hurt.

Just one more success for the PC brigade.

Prosecuting people in the news in these mushrooming hurt feelings courts is great fun.

It wasn’t so bad when they blethered about being offended and there was no law about it. No court. No penalty. Just the ABC and Fairfax. But things are different now.

Al Gore, upped the ante recently when he said that anyone holding a view different to his on Climate Change was a racist. This meant that if one of Australia’s Offended Feelings Tribunals held that such a view was, in fact, “racist” then penalties would follow for disagreeing with Tim Flannery or Christine Milne.

Gore’s outburst is not unique.

In May just gone, the French Assembly legislated the word “race” and the word “racist” out of all French laws – to combat racism !! Blind Freddy predicted in his weekly address to the Futurologists Society that the French will later pass a bill outlawing the word “poverty” and everybody will then be rich. Same thing with “disease”.

Now, any remark or phrase does not have to be objectively offensive. It does not have to be offensive by any known standard. It only has to be offensive to someone who claims he/she was offended.

In Victoria, there is the case of Tess Corbett. Tess Corbett was Bob Katter’s candidate for Wannon. She runs a kindergarten and told a local reporter, “I don’t want gays, lesbians or paedophiles working in my kindergarten”.

When asked if she considered homosexuals to be in the same category as paedophiles, Ms Corbett replied “Yes”. “Paedophiles will be next in line to be recognised in the same way as gays and lesbians and get rights.”

Objectively, the additional remark was capable of being interpreted as a prediction that paedophiles will eventually be recognised by the law and society as homosexuals have been. And she doesn’t want any of them to work in her kindergarten.

But the fact that it can easily mean that was not enough for homosexual activist Gary Burns who took her to the institutions that deal with this sort of thing.

In 2009, the same Burns took action against Jeff Kennett, for making comments in 2008 which, like Corbett’s remarks, appeared to equate homosexuality with pedophilia. A conciliation hearing was held in NSW, with Kennett listening to Burns’ demand that he apologise publicly to the gay community and donate a sum of money to a homosexual organisation. Kennet told him to rack off and Burns dropped the charges.
He was luckier this time. His target was not the resourceful Jeff Kennett.

The decision of the Tribunal on Corbett was, “[A]ny pronouncement that ‘brackets’ . . . homosexual people with paedophiles is capable of . . . urging [people] to treat homosexuals as deserving to be hated or to be regarded with serious contempt.”

So it isn’t what she said, it isn’t what she intended, it is what her expression was capable of.

On that same principle, if one walks down a street with a gun in his pocket, he is capable of bank robbery. If he has a long bladed knife at home, he is capable of murder. If he is a man he is capable of rape. A citizen, simply because he has a tongue, is capable of saying that the tribunal’s deputy president Michael Chesterton has announced a decision that is as mad as a two bob watch, and that Gary Burns action in prosecuting Tess Corbett is that of a publicity seeker.

In short, it doesn’t matter in the end what one says, it is what the Thought Police and the Naughty Thoughts Court says words are capable of meaning, even if taken out of context.

There is a NSW Supreme Court Appeal Court decision involving a man in just such a position. He was tagged with a shottie and a balaclava in his car. Must have been intending to stick someone up… or something… said the police.

“Come off the grass,” said the Court.

Is this why all these ridiculous “Tribunals” exist? To avoid having to prove guilty intent?
And substitute some kind of Monkey Law?

The William Bugmy Case

Wilkie-Jans

High Court's William Bugmy ruling 'a good call'

It is always sad when a person's self-worth diminishes into a life of criminal activity or poor mental health but it is somewhat reassuring that the High Court has set a precedent and disagrees with the Criminal Court in that suffering does not diminish in time. Suicide and self harm rates show that mental illnesses which manifest later in life stem from entrenched personal issues—or negative mental tapes. 

In the William Bugmy case before the High Court where lawyers for the defence argued that Mr Bugmy's cultural history should be considered in sentencing him for an assault on a Police Officer, such a conclusive defence was disregarded. The High Court did however agree to take into account Mr Bugmy's ill mental health in the decision making which, and like Mr Bellear (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-10/bellear-aboriginal-disadvantage-and-the-law/5011950) said to the ABC's Drum blog, the outcome is nothing new in determining sentences as many courts will consider mental illness, however to have the precedent set by a High Court judge means that in all courts the mental health and background of a person should be considered in the present. In respectful contrast to Mr Bellear I believe that this aspect of the case's outcome should indeed be celebrated.

The High Court didn't factor in ancestral, historical or heritage related suffering and rightly so in my view (and yet again in respectful difference to Mr Bellear), while an injustice anywhere is an injustice to everybody everywhere, the right way to go about addressing current or prior injustices to a people is to fight for a better future. Lapsing into criminal behaviour may stem from mental illness but it grows from personal circumstances; heading down a road of crime on behalf of the struggles of our people is not respecting our people and it should never be used as a defence for criminal grievous behaviour. 

Behaviours stemming from poor mental health have a personal catalyst not a cultural one (as in the Bugmy case), behaviours of activism and civil disobedience is a different matter and should be (depending on their severity) able to be defended in a cultural context. Just because you're a First Australian does not mean all your negative actions are defensible by your cultural history. In short, if one's personal background is one of Stolen Generation, forced adoption or missionary abuse and personally directed cultural denigration by the State or Church, then in that sense the "greater" cultural struggle should be relevant in one's sentencing. On the other hand, if one's background is simply of low socio-economic, perhaps a home of substance abuse and misuse, low quality of life due to lack of mainstream education and employment opportunities—as is now the contemporary circumstance by and large, then simply being of Aboriginal heritage should not excuse you over someone of another ethnic background but has similar life circumstances.

Our first priority is to be accountable for our own actions and further to support the healing of those who suffer from poor mental health. I hope that combination of sentiments is what people take away from the High Court's ruling in this case.

Jack Andrew Wilkie-Jans 

A&TSI Affairs Advocate

The watery grave that Labor dug

New MH2

Writers of political weeklies can’t possibly be topical given the rapid change in Labor’s pandemonium as the noose of electoral execution tightens by the day, if not hour.

Political chess moves of Rudd, Shorten and Tony Sheldon seem unlikely to cause any stay of the hangman’s scaffold. A two-party-preferred result according to surveys, have remained rather stable for more than a year. Any re-arrangement of deck chairs might save a handful of seats but won’t affect the outcome. To put it nicely—Labor is stuffed—in a manner unprecedented.

For the past 18 months voter concern about the nation’s porous borders has been marching toward top billing. And now, with the latest drowning of more than 50 off Western Australia’s coast, any hope and all spin Labor might use to camouflage reality perished with that craft and those poor souls on it.

Voter angst is mounting as more than 43,000 illegal immigrants have arrived by boat since the Rudd government terminated John Howard’s Pacific Solution in 2007 while Tony Abbott chirps louder about “turning back the boats” giving hope to all who find Labor’s own cost estimates of $203,704 per opportunist an unwanted burden and potential social disaster to be halted.

Meanwhile, the deluded Gillard says “the government’s border protection policies are working,” and that co-operation with Indonesia has successfully disrupted “many” people-smuggling ventures. What crap!
Eager for any opportunity to huff and puff before a camera is NSW state wrecker, now bungling foreign minister, Bob Carr. Bob’s cerebral wisdom reckoned Tony Abbott’s plan to turn back asylum seeker boats will trigger an “immediate foreign policy crisis” with Indonesia.

Carr, the old spin-doctor used a variety of descriptors with different media. “This is sheer recklessness.” And, “To talk about turning back the boats in his first days as prime minister would be to engineer a crisis in our relations with our most important neighbour.” Would also lead to a “humanitarian catastrophe on a vast scale,” and “Tony Abbott’s playing with fire,” Bob told Sky News.

However, Indonesia’s ambassador to Australia Nadjib Riphat Kesoema has ruled out any collaboration with Abbott to return people to Indonesia because it wasn’t their country of origin. Balderdash! Boats under Indonesian flag, crewed by Indonesians, port of origin Indonesia and provisioned in Indonesia says differently. The Ambassador is an idiot to assert such nonsense. Besides, it’s unlikely he would be privy to arrangements, if any, made between Abbott and the Indonesian government if there is a Coalition win in September.

Despite my low-budget opinion of Bob Carr, I must agree when he said that believing Tony Abbott will turn the boats around is to believe in fairies.

In April 2009 an Australian Navy ship HMAS Albany took in tow the smuggler boat SIEV 36 near Ashmore Reef. As HMAS Childers was boarding SIEV 36 one of the smuggler’s crew gave a cheesy grin, a salute and then touched off an explosion killing 5 and wounding 40. Blown into the water narrowly escaping death were our Navy personnel. President Bambang’s ruse for strengthened search and rescue co-operation proved a farce and the scuttling of craft is now textbook practice for smugglers.

A new wave of people smugglers has outwitted Australia’s government witless. First signal to smugglers was from the Royal Australian Navy in July 2012 when a senior officer said if there is even the slightest risk of danger to navy sailors or asylum seekers the navy skippers would disobey orders to invoke the “turn around or tow back” policy. “No navy officer would allow anyone, be they people smuggler, illegal fisherman or even terrorist, to perish at sea,” another officer said. The smugglers’ prayer mats got a fervent workout that day.

Moreover, Maritime Law says ships’ masters and crew have a legal and moral obligation to help distressed seafarers. International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea: “A master of a ship at sea, which is in a position to be able to provide assistance on receiving a signal from any source that persons are in distress at sea, is bound to proceed with all speed to their assistance.”  Maritime Law is a people smugglers’ licence to print money.

Only a fool would believe a smuggler and his bilge load of illegal interlopers would allow the RAN to hook-up a tow cable and drag the lot back to Indonesia. If Abbott’s plan becomes government policy the following standing orders for all smugglers will be:

By radio or mobile phone send SOS, report position and sabotage engine. Make a cup of tea. Upon sight of RAN taxi service to Australia, open seacocks in engine room. In case of no seacocks, cut engine cooling water input or chop a hole in the hull with an axe. If anticipating difficulties with authorities, pour petrol into Bilge. All on board with life vests, and those without, will then jump into the water while one remaining crew flicks a match down the hatch.

The craft will explode, seriously burning the crewman. (Note to skippers) This is desirable as no further dialogue will occur as the situation becomes a “life saving” exercise as the navy adheres to Maritime Law convention no matter what Tony Abbott says.

Over to you Tony.

IPA’s James Paterson hits a goal

This short video clip is worth watching. It exemplifies the calibre of Labor politicians and their understanding of laws they make. GC.Ed.

Big back down on Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 – but the fight is still far from over.

This week on the ABC's Q&A program the IPA's James Paterson forcefully summed up the case the IPA has been making against the Gillard government's draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 since the day the draft Bill was released: the draft Bill is a threat to Australians' freedom of speech and fundamental legal rights. Watch James here:

 freedomwatch.ipa.org.au

The draft Bill that can’t be cured

Simon Breheny at IPA's FreedomWatch offers insight to Nocola Roxon's dangerourous and now totally screwed up mess with her anti-discrimination proposal. GC.Ed.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon’s back down is a welcome development in the debate over the government’s anti-discrimination proposal. But it falls well short of what is needed – the complete abandonment of this ill-conceived consolidation project.

Roxon has announced that the phrase “offends, insults or intimidates” may be removed from the definition of discrimination under the exposure draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012.

But these changes don’t come close to going far enough. Merely taking out a few words from a fundamentally flawed proposal will not cure the deep deficiencies contained in the draft Bill.

Read More:http://freedomwatch.ipa.org.au/the-draft-bill-that-cant-be-cured/

The tyranny of tender feelings and the war on free speech

The ramifications of Labor's proposed anti-discrimination laws are being exposed as the fine print is examined. First cab off the rank to sue could be Trish Crossin who was dumped in Gillard's "captain's pick" to push Nova Peris into parliament because she is Aboriginal. Is this a race based decision? GC.Ed

Put it all together, and Labor is presiding over the greatest assault on Australians’ free speech in our lives:

– it has held an inquiry into what the Greens dubbed the “hate media” – particularly critics of the government

– it is promising new privacy rules affecting the media

– it is threatening new laws to control who owns the media – a response to conservatives such as Gina Rinehart buying into media assets

– it is considering tough new laws to regulate “bias” and reporting, applying tougher controls – back by threats of jail – on everything from big newspapers to even small blogs.

– it has punished News Ltd for its critical coverage by twice over-ruling the decision of an independent panel to award News the tender for the Australia Network.

Read more:http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/

the_tyranny_of_tender_feelings/

Roxon’s socialist laws may be unconstitutional

Nicola Roxon defends laws on offence

In their blind haste to control Australians with a zeal unimagined by previous generations Labor defends its intent to trample upon our freedoms and Constitution. While Roxon, Wong, et al spin like tops they seem bent on ignoring senior legal advice and opinion. Power and control is taking on an ugly face in Australia. GC.Ed.

The exposure draft of the law has been criticised by media companies and retired NSW chief judge and ABC chairman Jim Spigelman on free speech grounds, as it would allow a discrimination claim over conduct that insulted or offended a person in relation to "protected attributes" including political opinion and religion.


Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee
 Exposure Draft of Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination
 Bill 2012
Professor Nicholas Aroney, University of Queensland
Professor Patrick Parkinson AM, University of Sydney

The authors of this submission are working together on a project funded by the Australian Research Council concerning the accommodation of minority cultures within the framework of a liberal democratic Australia.1 The first author is a specialist in constitutional law; the second is author of a well-known textbook on the Australian legal system. We accept the role that anti-discrimination laws have generally played in reducing unfair treatment of groups that have historically suffered discrimination. However, we have concerns about the negative consequences of anti-discrimination laws that go far beyond this purpose, and which may have unintended adverse effects upon social cohesion. This is one such Bill.

Free speech is a double-edged sword

As Muslims in particular use our anti-hate laws to their best advantage under the orchestral arrangement of multiculturalism, "fools rush in" like Barry O'Farrell and Nicola Roxon to establish a greater Nanny State making it easier to lodge complaint. With The Australian Human Rights Commission adjudicating, and vying for relevance, biased findings are surely a forgone conclusion? GC.Ed.

In the week before the Cronulla riot, Jones described the young Muslim men who for years had been sexually harassing women on the beach as ''vermin'' and ''mongrels'' who ''rape and pillage''. That was the context of his comments, a context which dropped away entirely as a prosecution for hate speech by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal dragged on for seven years. No mention was made in Sunday's news reports of the far more sinister and contemporaneous example of public hate speech on September 15 last year.

During a demonstration that turned violent in Sydney, some protesters carried provocative placards including one infamous message, ''Behead those who insult the Prophet''. Many wore headbands with Arabic script exhorting jihad. Among the chants was, ''Our dead are in paradise, your dead are in hell''.

 Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/racial-hatred-bill-offers-open-slather-to-obnoxious-20130113-2cnf1.html#ixzz2HtIAA6CI

Happy New Year! Food for thought, or cause for a hangover

James Allan writes in the Quadrant about his passion for free speech. James is right when he thinks former Chief Justice of the NSW Supreme Court was a bit limp in his recent Oration. GC.Ed.

Friend, foe, men, women, listen to this. I come to query Mr. Spigelman, not to praise him.

Read more:http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/allan/2012/12/spigelman-s-gag-reflex

*******************************************************************************************

To herald the New Year, media and self-appointed experts are attacking the death rate caused by Quad bikes. One death is too many. But, accidents do and will continue to happen. Now they want to bans and re-engineering to the machines. Nothing about parental responsibility and teaching. There are about 220,000 quad bikes in use. Over 11 years 160 people have been killed. Is 0.0065% enough for legislators to make law that can't be enforced? Ask a farmer. GC. Ed.

Death sparks call for quad bike ban

FARM health and safety advocates are pushing for a total ban on children riding quad bikes following the death of a seven-year-old girl in South Australia.

Seventeen people died riding quad bikes last year, while 23 deaths were recorded in 2011. There have been more than 160 quad-bike-related deaths since 2001.

Read more:http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/death-sparks-call-for-quad-bike-ban/story-e6frg6nf-1226545872626

*******************************************************************************************

The Greens of this world have rushed to intensive care! GC. Ed.

Kyoto climate change treaty sputters to a sorry end

Kyoto Protocol aimed for 5% cut in carbon emissions — instead, we got a 58% increase

Read more:http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/12/20/pol-kyoto-protocol-part-one-ends.html