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Two Legal Rhodes Scholars

© Peter Zohrab 2005

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While studying Law at Victoria University of Wellington recently, I came across two students who had been, or were about to become, Rhodes Scholars. While I was a student in England (not at Oxford, though I did get offered a postgraduate place at Oxford at one stage), I got the impression that Rhodes Scholarships were regarded as sporting scholarships -- but that may no longer be the case, for all I know.

Certainly, these two students, Felix Geiringer and Chelsea Payne, seemed to me to be intellectually very able. My point in writing about them is to illustrate two features of the real insanity that characterises the New Zealand legal system -- judging by the atmosphere in one of the institutions that trains lawyers. These two features are:

  1. totalitarianism

  2. feminism.

 

These two features were usually combined into a composite feature, viz Totalitarian Feminism (i.e. Feminazism).

 

Totalitarianism

Felix Geiringer, a former Rhodes Scholar, had a sister on the staff, and he was also President of the Law Students' Association at one stage -- these factors may have had something to do with the behaviour I am about to describe. When we were attending the compulsory course on Criminal Law, I sat near the front on the left. Several times -- especially, or maybe exclusively when the lecturer was Elisabeth McDonald, who fed us Feminist propaganda from time to time -- Felix Geiringer stood right in front of me for minutes on end and stared silently and sternly at a spot just over my head, or behind me. It seemed to me that he was trying to intimidate me, and to stop me saying anything that would displease the Feminazi lecturer. In this, he failed totally. He later tried the same tactic -- half-heartedly, this time-- in Property class, where issues to do with Maori land claims were a central theme -- see my views on one related issue here: mabestop.html.

I already knew that Felilx Geiringer was a Feminist, because he had come out with what I think was the stupidest statement I heard in my entire time at Law School. During class discussion in the introductory course called "Legal System", he stated that the New Zealand Family Court system was the best in the world. He gave no evidence, nor even a definition of what it would mean for such a system to be the "best" -- e.g. what criteria you would assess it against. Not only was this an idiotic statement, but it was also probably a deliberate provocation, given the well-publicised protests of the Fathers' Movement -- so I didn't comment.

Not that Felix generally seems stupid -- indeed, he came out with some apparently profound statements from Left Field in the optional "Bill of Rights" class, and when I explained in another class that Feminists merely assumed that most perpetrators of Domestic Violence were male, he obviously took the point that this was a matter that should be decided on the basis of evidence, rather than sexist prejudice. My point in relation to Felix is that here was a Law student who was apparently somewhat more intelligent than most, one who chose to study Bill of Rights law -- yet he had seen fit to try to curtail freedom of expression where Feminism and racial issues were concerned !

 

Feminism

Chelsea Payne -- who later gained a Rhodes Scholarship -- was my tutor for the course called "Torts", and I found her to be an excellent one. However, one day, just before the start of class, she had a conversation that is worth reporting here. Sitting at the head of the long, tutorial-room table, she spoke -- ostensibly to some female students, but facing the class as a whole, and loudly enough to be clearly audible to all of us -- about some way in which Tort law had treated pregnant women as being less capable, in some sense, than other people. I can't remember the details of the point of law that was involved.

But then Chelsea Payne said that it was obvious that pregnant women were perfectly capable, since they held down jobs perfectly successfully. I responded by saying that the fact that they held down jobs did not prove that they were efficient, since it would be a breach of the Human Rights Act for an employer to treat an employee differently (e.g. fire her) for being pregnant ! What I didn't add, because it was implicit in what I said, was that employers would hesitate to fire an employee whose pregnancy appeared to make her inefficient, because the employer would have to prove that he wasn't firing her for being pregnant, rather than for being inefficient. As a matter of fact, I have myself seen a pregnant television employee fluff her lines momentarily, in a way that was visibly related to her pregnancy.

Here we had a Law Faculty staff member using the authority of her position to make a Feminist statement which was, in fact, arguably false -- and with quite a bit of righteous indignation ! You can see from many of the articles listed on the page The Culture of a Law School that this was not an isolated instance.

 

Insanity in the Law

I hope it is quite unnecessary for me to emphasise how insane it is for Law students, Law Faculty staff, lawyers and/or judges to behave in this way. They are supposed to be the quintessence of "reasonable persons", who interpret and lay down the law and advise and judge people ! Nevertheless, I will add here another example of this insanity, which I came across today.

On page 1118 of the 6th Edition of the "Lexis Nexis Employment Law Guide," the following sentence appears:

"Further, some employment situations continue to reflect the offensive (my emphasis -- PZ) concept of a male partner working for a wage while his female partner works for nothing (as where a club steward was paid a wage expressed to be inclusive of the services of his wife)."

My point is not that the author is wrong to consider that concept "offensive"1. My point is that it is totally insane for the author of a legal tome of this sort to consider that he has the right (or, more probably, the duty) to tell the reader what his moral position on that concept is. The political position in the Law profession is that -- whatever his actual feelings on the issue -- a male author feels compelled to make a negative moral comment on any issue where he feels he might otherwise be criticised by Feminists. What is absolutely certain is that no anti-Feminist lawyer would dare let anti-Feminist feelings intrude into such a book.

 

We may well have a legal system, but it absolutely crystal--clear that we do not have a justice system -- not for men, anyway !

 

Note

1 There is nothing inherently "offensive" in treating a couple or family as a legal unit, provided all relevant laws are worded accordingly. It is clear that the writer of the legal tome concerned would not have been offended if it had been a female employee whose husband had worked (seemingly) without pay. Our Feminist culture is anti-marriage, as witnessed by the Feminist notion that women have to "free" themselves from marriage, the vastly increased divorce rate, the high number of de facto couples, and the introduction of civil unions as an alternative to marriage. The increased divorce-rate, brought about by the introduction of no-fault divorce, has been horrifically destructive to both children and to the social structure -- rendering the legislative emphasis in Family Law on "the best interests of the child" an offensive joke.

 

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