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Television programme shows Bias in Family Court

(open letter, edited)

© Peter Zohrab 2001

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To: Honourable Judge P.D. Mahoney, New Zealand Principal Family Court Judge

Dear Sir:

I am writing in relation to the television programme The Family Court: Behind Closed Doors (TV1, 19 March 2001). It had the appearance of a public relations exercise on behalf of the Family Court system and I do not condemn it for that. It is good to get both sides of the story, and it is right and proper for the Establishment to hope and expect that Society will have trust in its institutions..

However, given that it propounded the Establishment view, the programme left no defence against any accusations of actual bias that it demonstrably revealed. In other words, one would not be able to say that the programme selectively included incidents which demonstrated bias, since it was clearly designed to demonstrate the Family Court's lack of bias (e.g.. against men and fathers).

 

General points

There seems to be a feeling in the judicial Establishment that people (fathers, in particular) do not understand the Family Court, and that once they can be made to understand it better, much of their hostility towards it will disappear. This is a misconception, and seems to be the reason why pains were taken to portray Judge Adams as a "pretty ordinary Kiwi". I personally do not want judges to be "ordinary", as theirs is not an ordinary job and, fortunately, Judge Adams seemed to have more than ordinary intelligence. He also appeared to be well-meaning, and (whether by accident or design) he was shown to become emotionally involved in his cases which is perhaps inevitable. Of course, where you have emotional involvement, you also inevitably have bias.

The programme also showed him to be a particular type of "ordinary Kiwi" very politically correct:

He claimed not to have anything against Gay custody of children per se;

He was shown ironing his own shirts (perhaps his female partner worked full-time, or maybe he just did it anyway ?);

He works in an area that was described as ethnically diverse, and, in one case, he scarcely seemed to need the pretext that a couple was living apart at the time of their child's birth as justification for giving priority to the mother's Muslim dietary practices over the father's mainstream Kiwi dietary practices.

I am not arguing against his views or practices just pointing out that he appears to be a particular kind of person, and that people who resemble him in these respects,or who have "bonus-points" in the form of exotic ethnicity or sexual orientation, might confidently expect to do better in his court than people who don't. In particular, men who have non-Feminist views on child-rearing, housework, working mothers, etc. -- especially if these views were unsupported by any exotic cultural background -- might expect to be treated less favourably, in his court. Judge Baragwanath, of the Law Commission, for example, is on record with derogatory remarks about men with "old-fashioned" views on such issues.

The mere fact that cameras were in the court is likely to have had some effect on the actions of the participants particularly on those of the Judge, who was, in a sense, on trial himself, on behalf of the system he works in. He must have had in mind who was watching him, and who would most likely be criticising him, and I suggest that he would have thought of:

as people whose sensitivities had to be taken into account.

 

Access

The most general issue is that "old-fashioned", patriarchal, macho police, lawyers, psychologists, and judges converge with their Feminist and politically correct colleagues in their shared purblindness to the feelings of men.

In one access case, the issue of the (mainly legal, I expect) costs incurred by the father in getting access to his child were seemingly ignored by Judge Adams presumably because the Law does not provide a means of taking this into account. But, stunningly, Judge Adams seems to have also simply ignored the breaches of court orders that were committed by the mother, when the breaches were obviously detrimental to the best interests of the child (if access to both parents is.deemed to be in the best interests of children), and should have counted against the mother's continued custody. All this time, it was obvious from his face that the father was suffering, and had been suffering, intense grief and pain but this counts for nothing in the New Zealand "justice" system in general, and in Judge Adams' court in particular. I will return to this issue in regard to a domestic violence case.

The Judge relies on Psychologists and Counsel for the Child to guide his decisions, but these people are not true experts, are not accountable, and are probably anti-male in the majority of cases. To avoid bias, the Counsel for the Child and the Psychologist should not be appointed by the Court alone, because courts are female-dominated. If I, for example, walk into the Lower Hutt District Court, I am confronted by a sea of women, and the hostility is almost palpable, at times, since I have a track-record on standing up to Feminist bullying. And we have Psychologists because we think we need them not because they have been proved by any reasonable measure to actually know what they are doing. In addition, Psychology, as a field, is heavily influenced by anti-male Feminist propaganda.

Similarly, the Counsel for the Child can only guess at what is in the best interests of the child no one can possibly know enough about all the relevant factors in a particular case (let alone predict the future) in order to give a verdict as to which is the best arrangement for a child in such cases. For example, in one access case, the Counsel for the Child said that the father had to move closer to the mother if he wanted more access to his child. Why couldn't it be the mother who had to move closer to the father ? No reason was given. The Family Court (and especially the Counsel for the Child) are supposed to be primarily about the best interests of the child. This was one apparent example of the way that the "best interests of the child" is in fact just used as a Trojan horse for the best interests of the mother. Fathers groups say this all the time, and here we have a Family Court public relations programme which appears to show just that.

After this case, Judge Adams was shown saying to the camera that one might see his decision as gender-biased against the father, but that he believed that he would be able to pick up any pattern of gender bias in his judgements, if it existed. This must surely be one of the most ludicrous statements in legal history ! Why does Judge Adams think that Appeals courts exist, if not to protect Society from Judges' very human inability to control or monitor their own biases and incompetencies ? Any decision made by Judge Adams that men's/fathers' groups might consider to be gender-biased would not be considered biased by Judge Adams, because he would doubtless consider that it was based on factors/excuses that the men's/fathers' groups did not take into account sufficiently.

 

Custody

There was one custody case shown, where the father was granted temporary custody, over the mother's objections. But this was only after the mother herself told the child to go and stay with the father because of a discipline problem. Then the mother had become worried that the child was staying there too long ! It seems that the mother had demonstrated that she could not discipline the child herself, and that this (together with the fact that the child had started school in his new location) is why the notion of giving even temporary custody to the father was even contemplated by Judge Adams.

 

Domestic Violence

The most striking instance of anti-male bias was in the Domestic Violence case. The bias started in the introduction to the filmed segment, when Judge Adams explained how sickened he was by the Domestic Violence that he came across. Of course, for the words "Domestic Violence", read "Male Violence," since all the propaganda is about male violence. The academic research is unanimous that women commit just as much in fact, recently it has been more Domestic Violence as/than men do, except for studies where the survey questions are doctored to produce a different result (as was done in the New Zealand National Survey of Crime Victims 1996).

See: fiebertb.html and http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

The Domestic Violence case was one where a Polynesian man was representing himself in court presumably because he couldn't afford a lawyer. He was objecting to having to go on an "Anger Management" course where anti-male Male Feminists would attempt to teach him that he was to blame for anything reprehensible that occurred between himself and any female in his vicinity. In the end, being an ordinary, individual, rather than a lawyer, he was not able to withstand the anti-male pressure that was applied to him by Judge Adams, and was forced to agree to go on the course.

After listening to the man's opening statement, Judge Adams summarised his affidavit as saying that the man had had to put up with a lot himself as well (from his ex-girlfriend). Then the Judge said, "I guess that implies that you got out of control." That is an example of gross anti-male bias on the part of Judge Adams. The point of the man's testimony was that his ex-girlfriend had been guilty of psychological and/or physical abuse, and therefore either they should both be punished or neither of them should be. For the Judge to simply refuse to consider the possibility that the woman also should be equally liable to be punished for her actions is gross sexist bias that should disqualify him from further work in the Judiciary.

(The Lesbians who call the shots on Domestic Violence propaganda on TV One and other anti-male propaganda-houses don't see men as people just as the enemy. Enemies don't have feelings. A man is simply not a human being once the words "Domestic Violence" have been mentioned -- just as an unborn child, visible from an ultrasound scan, is not a human being, once its mother has unilaterally decided to end its life.

I myself have been assaulted, and threatened with assault by females in the workplace. These females have never suffered any negative consequences as a result of their behaviour, as far as I am aware. When I attempted to raise the issue of one of these women having been promoted, along with another provably anti-male woman, I received no reply from the Head of Human Resources, and when I placed the issue on the agenda of a union branch meeting, the Secretary shifted it down the order-paper to a spot below "General Business", in order to make sure that it was not discussed.

I have seen a woman slap her boyfriend hard on the head in broad daylight in Central Wellington, and the two carry on as if nothing had happened indeed, as far as the enforcement of the Law is concerned, nothing had happened. You can only commit punishable assault on an adult male if you are yourself male, or grievous bodily harm results. Those in charge of Domestic Violence policy in the Police regard male violence as assault, and female violence as justified in some way.)

The girlfriend in the Family Court case in question had lain with a male friend, in the dark, on the bed of the daughter of her boyfriend, and claimed, when he discovered them, that they had been "just talking." Later, she taunted her boyfriend about it. That is clearly severe psychological abuse by her of her boyfriend, causing him intense suffering.

The man also raised the possibility that she had done it on purpose, in order to provoke him into doing something that she could use to get sole custody of the child and restrict him to supervised access to his child. (She could have been advised to try this tactic by a Women's Refuge or Feminist lawyer or just by her friendly neighbourhood Lesbian Feminist. )

At that point, Judge Adams said,"Can you explain to me how that is relevant to the issue that I have to look at today." That shows that Judge Adams has absolutely no conception of

psychological abuse, as per the Domestic Violence Act 1995, which Feminist propagandists such as Professor Lenore Walker routinely say is worse than physical abuse (but of course, they are talking only about women victims);

the equality of men and women under the law, as per the Bill of Rights Act 1990.

This is against the background that Judge Adams admitted that both parties may deserve blame but he only punished the man, by humiliating him in two ways:

Family Court judges routinely believe unsubstantiated allegations of child abuse or Domestic Violence levelled at men by women, but Judge Adams simply ignored this man's accusation of premeditated psychological abuse of the most sinister kind, and the psychological effect of this incident on the poor man. For Judge Adams, this man indeed, any man did not have feelings that could be hurt.

Judge Adams is therefore arguably* incompetent. Since he was chosen to represent the entire Family Court system on television, we can safely assume that most of the other Family Court judges are even more anti-male especially as many of them, such Judge Jill Moss, were chosen from the ranks of openly pro-women Family Court lawyers.. See: fcrtbias.html

Sincerely,

Peter Zohrab

 

*There may be room for debate as to what "competence" means in the judicial context.

 

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