Date: 14 November 2004
1. Terms indicating the male sex are intended in this document to include the female sex, unless the context indicates otherwise.
2. References to "disputes" includes both civil matters and criminal cases -- in particular, criminal cases where the complainant and the accused person are of different sexes.
I. Information on the complainant
II. State concerned/Articles violated
III. Exhaustion of domestic remedies/Application to other international procedures
IV. Facts of the complaint
a) The facts and circumstances of the violations, in chronological order, including a summary of the main points mentioned in correspondence.
b) How I consider that the facts and circumstances described violate my/our rights (General Issues).
c)How I consider that the facts and circumstances described violate my/our rights (Specific Articles of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights).
V. Checklist of supporting documentation
Name: Zohrab……… First name(s): Peter Douglas………….
Nationality: New Zealand………
Date and place of birth: 02 December 1949, Moscow, Russia/USSR.
Address for correspondence on this complaint:
74 Wellington Road, Wainuiomata, Lower Hutt 6008, New Zealand.
Submitting the communication on my own behalf, and also, being myself a man, as a class action on behalf of the men of New Zealand.
I consider it appropriate to bring this complaint on their behalf because:
I am the person in New Zealand -- if not internationally -- who best understands the combination of legal and Men's Rights issues involved;
It is the men of New Zealand as a whole whom I wished to help by the action which I was prevented from carrying out, and it was the fact of being prevented from carrying out that action that led to this complaint.
I am a law student who may want to, or may actually work as a Men's Rights lawyer, and having a New Zealand judiciary which is indoctrinated against men by the Institute of Judicial Studies (IJS) will prejudice the interests of my clients and make my work harder, or even impossible, and tend to dissuade me from in fact taking up that calling.
I understand that the Human Rights Committee holds its sessions behind closed doors. Since open justice is itself regarded as a right under the ICCPR, I find that somewhat disturbing. My complaint is against the Feminism-inspired bias of the educational section of the Judicial branch of the New Zealand government, which no doubt shares some basic philosophical attitudes with the international judicial fraternity/sorority, from which the Committee's members are drawn. I am also aware of the influence of Feminism, together with its unproven, anti-male assumptions, in many international organisations, including agencies of the United Nations.
Since my complaint is against the Judicial, and not the Executive branch of the New Zealand Government, I assume that the Human Rights Commitee will not, as individuals, have to fear any sort of retribution, as might have been the case if my complaint had been against the Executive branch of a powerful country.
I therefore declare that I have an interest in my complaint being heard in open court, if possible.
Name of the State that is a party to the Optional Protocol: New Zealand.
Articles of the Covenant alleged to have been violated:
Articles 2, 3, 5, 14, 25, and 26
I have not exhausted these remedies, on the basis that they are not available to me. The reason for this is that my complaint is against the IJS, which is a body which is controlled mostly by the Judiciary, with some influence from the Executive as well.
According to the Memorandum of Understanding under which it was founded, the Board (apart from any co-opted members) consists of:
1. the Chief Justice or his or her nominee;
2. the President of the Court of Appeal or his or her nominee;
3. one Judge from the High Court;
4. the Chief District Court Judge or his or her nominee;
5. one Judge from the District Court;
6. the Chief Executive Officer of the Department for Courts or his or her nominee;
7. one senior practitioner;
8. one academic; and
9. one member of the community.
I submit that for me to apply to a New Zealand Court for review of their decision would be a situation where the judge deciding my case would appear to a reasonable observer to be biased. Nemo iudex in sua propria causa, as the maxim goes. Such a judge would appear indeed to be a judge in his own case. In addition to the fact that his own thinking would probably have been influenced directly by the Institute in particular and by his judicial colleagues in general, a reasonable observer would also surely doubt that he would be keen to pronounce an unfavourable judgement on the most senior judges in the country.
The Privy Council in the apparent judicial bias case Man O'War Station Ltd v Auckland City Council  UKPC 28, 577 stated:
The test that "The question is whether the fair-minded and informed observer, having considered the facts, would conclude that there was a real possibility that the tribunal was biased" is consistent with European and Scottish jurisprudence, and broadly in line with Australian jurisprudence.
I consider that, on this test, I have no chance of a fair hearing in New Zealand of a case against the Institute of Judicial Studies, because of apparent bias..
Therefore I consider that I have no judicial remedies within New Zealand.
I have not submitted the same matter for examination under any other procedure of international investigation or settlement.
a) The facts and circumstances of the violations, in chronological order, including a summary of the main points mentioned in correspondence.
I have been a Men's Rights activist since 1987, and I am now a Law student, although at the start of the incidents relevant to my complaint I was a secondary (high school) teacher (teaching by correspondence). My complaint relates to the oppression of men by the training organisation of the New Zealand Justice System, and I enclose a copy of my book, Sex, Lies & Feminism, and other examples of my writings on relevant issues, so that you know I have researched the topic thoroughly, and that I have written academic refutations of Feminist ideology. The book has had a very favourable review in a Men's Rights periodical, which you can see on the webpages listed below, and you can also see other examples of my writings on similar topics in the "Issues" sections of the the listed websites.
Here is an extract from the above-mentioned review:
Sex, Lies & Feminism is one of those rare books that instantly reads like a movement classic.... Zohrab's intellect and knack for fresh re-examination ... had me turning the pages almost as raptly as if I were reading a novel.... A book that can actually get the reader to develop or expand useful new modes of thought is rare indeed."
My authority to speak on such issues is central to my complaint, so I request that you read the book, which is also available for free on the World Wide Web at the following page:
It is considered a truism in the international Men's/Fathers' Movement that legal systems are biased against men, and my book (written before I began my legal studies) is perhaps the clearest -- though incomplete -- exposition of why this is so. Being a Law student has now allowed me not only to deepen my understanding of the causes of this bias, but also to confront it and combat it. In addition, I think I have now found the root cause of this legal bias against men, which I discuss below in the context of the legal culture of New Zealand.
I refer you to the References section of my book for other writings from a similar perspective.
(i) What is Feminism ?
As I write these words, I imagine you thinking that Feminism is about equality or equity between men and women, that this is not an ideology, and -- even if it is an ideology -- it is a Human Rights issue, which all judges must be bound to uphold. That is why I ask you to read my book.
Feminists define "equality" and/or "equity" as they see fit, and I am sure you understand that there is a lot of scope for differences of opinion as regards those definitions. Moreover, Feminists themselves select the issues to which they demand that their definition of "equality" or "equity" be applied, and I am sure you understand that there might be lots of other issues to which they might not be so eager that those terms were applied. In addition, there is no body which has the role or power to insist that the same definition of "equality" or "equity" is applied to all those issues, which means that Feminists are free to apply different definitions to different issues, as seems convenient to them.
Feminist methodology typically involves -- as in the case of the IJS -- either excluding all men, or excluding men who represent Men's Rights, from meetings and processes having to do with forming conclusions, making decisions, or disseminating information about equality or equity between men and women. This is procedurally unfair and a breach of men's Human Rights.
(ii) The Frontman Fallacy
Feminists obviously must give grounds for doing this. Another reason for you to read my book is that simplistic arithmetic is the basic reason why they are allowed to get away with this breach of natural justice. Feminists have counted the number of men in decision-making positions and found that this number is greater than that of the number of women in decision-making positions. From this they have concluded, in a quasi-Marxist manner -- without ever having demonstrated it to be a fact -- that men have been using these positions to oppress or disadvantage women (relatively to men).
However, they have never done an analysis of the disadvantages that men have suffered in male-dominated societies, compared to women. In the absence of such analysis, Feminists' focus on the supposed disadvantages that women have suffered from lacks any reference-point. The Feminist case, after all, is not that being in decision-making positions per se is a human right -- their point is that groups who are not in such positions in sufficient numbers suffer as a consequence of the decisions that are made. As my book points out, this may be true for ethnic groups, but it has not been demonstrated to be the case for men and women, because men have often been paternalistic and chivalrous in exercising their powers -- often disadvantaging men, in comparison to women.
Feminists never articulate the Frontman Fallacy in an intelligent manner, so as to make it possible to determine at what point a country or institution crosses the threshhold from "Patriarchy" to "Gender Equality" or "Gender Equity" or even to Matriarchy. This is particularly relevant in New Zealand, as we have a female Prime Minister, a female Governor-General, a female Chief Justice and a female Attorney-General. At what point is one, according to Feminism, supposed to say that men have ceased to rule the country, or to dominate the justice system ? Feminism, being basically incoherent, gives no answer to this question. This is relevant in connection with the IJS policy on teaching Gender Equity, since it seems to involve an assumption that this policy is necessary to correct some imbalance in society, or in the justice system. How does one estimate the size of this problem -- or even establish its existence -- when opposing points of view are censored by the IJS ?
(iii) Events in Sequence
As soon as I became aware that New Zealand had acquired an IJS, I realised that it was a potential means by which bias against men in the Legal System would be increased. The Institute's Statement of Purpose (on page 4 of its 1998-2001 Strategic Plan) reads as follows:
"The IJS ("the Institute") is the continuing education arm of the New Zealand Judiciary.
The Institute will provide education programmes and services to the Judiciary which:
assist professional development;
promote judicial excellence; and
foster an awareness of developments in the law, judicial administration and the social context of the law."
I wrote to the Minister for Courts on 22 February 1999 to find out what outside groups would have input into its processes. I have enclosed copies of almost all the correspondence I refer to (I have been unable to find copies of some of the correspondence I sent). The reply I received (from the IJS itself), dated 24 May 1999, was not very informative, so I eventually wrote a follow-up letter on 12 October 2001. I am active in regard to a lot of Men's Rights issues, so the long interval between 24 May 1999 and 21 October 2001 was probably caused by my being involved with other issues, which I rated as more important at the time.
In their reply of 23 October 2001, the Institute replied as follows:
"I refer to your letter of 12 October 2001.
The Institute has not organised any visits to the groups you mention (i.e. "Men's groups, fathers' groups and women's groups, including Women's Refuges and Rape Crisis -- P.Z.), nor has it hosted meetings with any of those groups.
Thank you for your offer to meet but I am unable to assist you. This is because the independence of the judiciary is an important principle of the New Zealand constitution and as such freedom from political lobbying ensures that the judicial process remains free from political interference of any kind."
It is significant, in view of subsequent events, that
1. the letter denies any visits to or meetings with Women's Refuges, and that
2. emphasis is laid on the need for freedom from political lobbying and from political interference.
On 16 November 2001, the Institute replied (probably to another letter from me), answering some of my questions. I quote the most significant excerpt from this letter below:
"Each year the Institute involves experts in law and related areas, usually academics or senior practitioners, to assist in the development of programmes targeted at the judiciaries' (sic) professional development requirements. There is no contact between the Institute and groups who have aims targeted at legislative change, who are best advised to direct their inquiries to government."
I wrote to the Institute by email on 16 December 2001, pointing out (amongst other things) that their distinction between "academics" and "groups who have aims targeted at legislative change" was an artificial one, since academics are, in many cases, known to espouse and promote legislative change -- which I indeed later experienced, at first hand, to be the case, while studying Law.
In addition, I focused on the teaching of so-called "Gender Equity" at the Institute, and asked the Institute to tell me who had been the presenters on this topic.
Thre was a long delay, so I contacted the office of the Ombudsmen by email on 6 February 2002, and complained about not having received a reply from the Institute. Eventually, on 11 February 2002, I received a letter from the Institute, answering my question.
By email on 15 February, I applied (amongst other things) to give a presentation on Gender Equity, to counter the presentations on that topic which the Institute had had from people who were obviously Feminists. This application was acknowledged in a letter from the Institute dated 25 March 2002, and eventually rejected in a letter from the Institute dated 14 October 2002.
It is that rejection that I am complaining about in this Communication to the Human Rights Committee. I am not complaining about their refusal to appoint me as Community Representative on the Board of the Institute, which is another application that I made at the same time.
(i) The Decision to Teach only the Feminist Approach to "Gender Equity"
The IJS, in the period covered by the 2002-2003 Annual Report, included a "Gender Equity Consulting Group" as one of its "Education Committees", which means that the Institute is committed to "Gender Equity" at a deeper level than might appear to be the case just from their decision to have Feminists come and teach them about the notion. The Gender Equity Consulting Group during that period comprised two female judges.
I cannot see that the decision to set up such a Group can be described as anything other than political, and the question arises, where does the Institute acquire their authority to commit themselves to this notion of "Gender Equity"? Being a political notion, it is in fact an ideology.
Moreover, since this Group is listed under the heading "Education Committees", it is clear that the Institute's aim is to teach (or one could use the word "indoctrinate") judges an ideology. Again I ask, where does the Institute acquire its authority to do this ?
Apart from arguing that the Institute is illegally indoctrinating judges in an ideology, I am also arguing that there is no independent audit as to the intellectual standard, validity or fairness of the content that is being taught, and that the content of the ideology is in fact the opposite of what it claims to be. Instead of truly being "Gender Equity", this ideology is in fact (female) "Gender Supremacy", which does not even attempt to examine any issue from a male point of view. It is based on mere assumptions that are at the very least unproven and actually (I submit) totally untrue.
If the I.J.S. takes the Feminist stance (which they probably do) that "Gender Equity" involves
providing a "woman's" point of view which the mainly male judges are not aware of, they have the
onus of proving:
that the people they chose to teach them "Gender Equity" have the magical ability to discern what
this point of view is -- in other words, that they represent all women, rather than just themselves;
that the male justices have not been influenced by the decades of pro-female and anti-male
propaganda that has been issuing (with little counter-argument) from our universities and media; and
that male judges have ever, in actual fact, taken a pro-male stance (on balance), as opposed to a
(ii) Possible Bad Faith
The IJS stated that "freedom from political lobbying ensures that the judicial process remains free from political interference of any kind," (in its letter of 23 October 2001, quoted above) and it stated that " [t]here is no contact between the Institute and groups who have aims targeted at legislative change," (in its letter of 16 November 2001).
However, the "Non judge presenters" on the topic of "gender equity" (according to its letter of 11 Febraury 2002) included Maria Bradshaw, who has the same name as someone who is identified on the webpage http://www.themilitant.com/1996/6042/6042_12.html (last accessed on 30 August 2004) as "a spokesperson for the National Collective of Women's Refuges." From my perspective, there is no doubt that the National Collective of Women's Refuges is, in fact, an organisation that is routinely involved in political lobbying and is a group who has aims targeted at legislative change. The fact that it has probably already achieved many of its aims by lobbying for legislative change (viz the Domestic Violence Act 1995), which means that it may not be so active a lobbyist as it was in the past, is not relevant in this context. Nor is the fact that Maria Bradshaw might or might not have ceased being a spokesperson for that organisation at the time she was invited by the IJS relevant in this context. I regard the National Collective of Women's Refuges as the organisation that is perhaps the most active in oppressing men in New Zealand today.
Similarly, Joy Liddicoat (a non-judge presenter) has the same name as someone who received a grant from the NZ Law Foundation to publish the "Feminist Law Review", according to the webpage: http://www.lawfoundation.org.nz/grants/research-legal.htm.
In view of those facts, I have severe doubts about the good faith of the Institute in its communications with me. New Zealand has a population of just four million people, and there is little doubt in my mind that there can only be one person of that name in New Zealand who is active in the area of gender and domestic violence."
Moreover, I had to use the Ombudsmen's Office and the Official Information Act, in order to force the Institute to supply information about the identity of the presenters. The Institute later claimed that it had never received my email requesting the information !
Developed countries such as New Zealand do not, to my knowledge, admit to having a state ideology. Nevertheless, promoting Feminism is now a part of United States foreign policy, and the United States Embassy has refused to state whether this amounts to an "ideology", as far as it is concerned. There seems to be a lack of intelligent thought on this issue. Either one has an ideology, in which case one pursues certain policy goals which flow from that ideology, or one does not have an ideology, and therefore does not pursue policy goals which appear to flow from an ideology.
Similarly, the IJS, like New Zealand society generally, seems to operate under a de facto Feminist ideology. Why else would they refuse even to give me a hearing ? If they define "the social context of the law" (as per their Statement of Purpose, quoted above) in such a way as to include the viewpoint on "gender equity" of a Feminist, but so as to exclude the view of a Masculinist on that topic, they are obviously determined to hear only views with which they agree.
My point is not that there is a lot that is wrong with the preoccupation with Human Rights that typifies the New Zealand legal system -- my point is that this preoccupation expresses itself as a list of categories of people who are deserving of particular deference, on the grounds that they have historically been discriminated against. This list relevantly includes women (but not men), and operates at the emotional level in the minds of the majority of participants in the legal system. This list operates as a rigid ideology, which categorises men as oppressors by default. See the webpage: alqaedaw.html .
On September 1st 2004, I heard New Zealand's Principal Family Court Judge, Judge Peter Boshier, give a lecture at Victoria University of Wellington. He started his lecture by referring to a stereotype (though he did not use the word "stereotype", as I recall) of judges being male, elderly and wearing pin-striped trousers.
It is clear that he was taking the Frontman Fallacy at face value -- acknowledging it, although not necessarily subscribing to it. But my point is that he referred to it right at the start of his lecture. That shows what political considerations are at the forefront of his mind. The frequent allegations of Family Court bias against men, on the other hand, were not mentioned by him, although they are mentioned (for example) on page 199 of the Law Commission's Report 82 on Dispute Resolution in the Family Court (2003).
In her Introduction to the New Zealand Law Commission's Preliminary Paper 47, a discussion paper on Family Court Dispute Resolution (2002), Ms Vivienne Ulrich QC (as she then was) states: "... we consider that it is important that we understand where we have come from .... remember the days pre-1980 when it was deemed essential for lady petitioners to wear a hat and gloves to the High Court...."
The Law Commission's reference (above) to constraints on women made no reference to any (possibly much more severe) constraints on men -- such as social pressures to volunteer for combat in wartime. It also took a historicist approach, according to which modern society is seen as having "progressed", i.e. improved on past social mores. See also my webpages (isdads.html), which discuss legal bias in New Zealand Family Law.
I have taken a course on Jurisprudence, which includes Feminist Jurisprudence. When the lecturer gave his one lecture on Feminist Jurisprudence, he more or less apologised for being male -- as if a woman would be more appropriate to speak on that topic. He also stated that issues such as domestic violence and rape were (exclusively) women's issues, which is a more obvious example of the mentality that I wish to discuss.
The lecturer who apologised for being a man when discussing Feminist Jurisprudence epitomises the approach in my Law Faculty, according to which topics in which Feminists have claimed to have an interest are seen as most properly dealt with by female lecturers -- even though there clearly would be distinct male viewpoints, if the intellectual atmosphere was such as to encourage them to be heard.
The textbook (Mark Henaghan and Bill Atkin (eds.) Family Law Policy in New Zealand Wellington: LexisNexis Butterworths, 2nd Edition 2002) for my Family Law course (at Victoria University of Wellington) contains chapters by four males and five females -- some of whom co-wrote chapters. The author of Chapter Seven, Professor Mark Henaghan, starts that chapter with a quotation about bias from Feminist writer, Simone de Beauvoir, and states (on page 245): "I am also a man; I hope I can overcome that bias, but that is for the reader to assess." No other author in that book apologises for being a man or a woman. In fact, it is inconceivable that the book could have contained an apology of that sort from a woman for being female, or a quotation from a Masculinist book.
One lecturer, who taught about the law of personal property, included at the start of his teaching materials a short excerpt from a book on Feminism which had to do with how studying Law can warp your mind ! He did not refer to it in class, and I consider that he included it purely as a sop to his many militantly Feminist students.
Another lecturer, who taught me aspects of Contract Law, included in one of his lectures a derogatory remark about his inability to do more than one thing at a time, because he was male. It is inconceivable that a female lecturer there would make a derogatory remark about her being female, and I am sure that he did that, again, as a sop to the militant feminists (i.e. Female Supremacists) in the class.
Feminists (as opposed to Masculinists) are organised, and practice intimidation in the Law Faculty and -- I would assume -- in the wider legal fraternity. See my webpage: (islwschl.html).
In section IV (a) (above), I said I thought I had found the root cause of anti-male bias in the justice system. That root cause, I believe, is a combination of chivalry (in conservative males) and Feminism (in leftist males and females). That is what motivates the IJS in its policy on the teaching of Gender Equity. The IJS treats (aspects of) Feminism not just as an academic theory amongst others, but as the true ideology that must guide its work.
(iv) How Feminists approach the topic of "Gender Equity"
On 14 November 2004, I did a search with the Google search engine on the World Wide Web for the term "definition of Gender Equity" (with quotation marks), excluding the term "education", so as to get a wide spread of topics. I will discuss here the top five results which I obtained, which were (ignoring the second page of two that were listed from site no. 1):
Site no. 1 does not provide a concise definition. Its nearest approach to a definition is as follows:
Equity emphasizes fairness in process and outcome, and does not presume a hypothetical ideal and undifferentiated individual. Simple 'equality' as a concept does not recognize the very different conditions under which people attempt to live and work in society, the prejudices, the failures to take into account the obstacles which others face, the subtle and gross ways in which people are rendered invisible, silent or outsiders.
On its face, that approach lends itself, potentially, to being applied to almost any subgroup of human society -- yet the only example given on that page is of problems allegedly faced by girls in schools.
Site no. 2 only mentions definitions of Gender Equity in the context of a suggestion that a definition be provided -- indicating that the Gender Equity Task Force mentioned on that page had gone about its work without the aid of any such definition ! The intellectual incompetence of Feminists is a central feature of my criticism of Feminism, and this page serves to highlight it. I am not confident that IJS instructors would be any more competent that this.
Again, the focus is on women, though minorities do get a (somewhat irrelevant) mention.
Site no. 3 has only the following to say about defining Gender Equity:
Between 40 to 60 per cent representation of each sex is the usual operational definition of gender equity.
This is obviously a pragmatic, rather than a theoretical definition, and it is hard to see how it differs from the notion of "equality of outcomes". However, the focus is again on women -- this time, in the context of employment policies.
Site no. 4 does not itself define Gender Equity, but it links to the page http://www.gsmt.org/pdfs/gender_equity_JB.pdf
which defines it as follows:
Gender equity is an equal chance for females and males at:
-Learning, regardless of the subject
-Preparing for future education, jobs, careers
-Developing, achieving and learning
-Equitable treatment and outcomes in school and beyond
This is a Girl Scouts site, replete with female symbols, and the focus is purely and simply on females.
Site no. 5 only mentions defining Gender Equity in the context of a recommendation that a complete definition be provided ! And, once again, the focus is entirely on women.
This is, admittedly, a small survey, but it is much better than a random survey, since the Google search engines ranks sites in terms of their popularity. This means that those five sites are the most popular sites (for some technical definition of "popular") that conform to my search terms.
In that context, it is outrageous, I submit, that only one of them actually provides a concise theoretical definition of this important term, based on which a lot of decisions (often impacting negatively on men's careers) are taken. Two of the sites only mention defining it in the context of a lack of an adequate definition. One provides a merely "operational" definition (implying, perhaps, that nothing better is available), and one provides a somewhat wordy characterisation of the meaning of the term.
In addition, all of them focus on female needs, and do not even hint at the possibility that men might be deserving of gender equity in any respect whatsoever.
I feel justified in concluding that the type of "Gender Equity" which the IJS is being taught is also probably both sexist (i.e. it ignores men's needs and perspectives) and also incompetent (i.e. lacking any adequate definition).
(v) How a Masculinist might approach the topic of "Gender Equity"
Men's Rights/Masculinism is a relatively new field of inquiry, and it is routinely discriminated against in the academic world, because it is seen as undermining Feminism. Consequently, very little research has been done in this area. However, here is a list of some areas that a Masculinist approach to Gender Equity might focus on:
child custody decisions by courts
court enforcement of parental access to children
police and court attitudes to sexual abuse by females
police and court attitudes to domestic violence by females
eliminating statutory offences which only males can commit
equalising the sentences imposed on men, as compared to women, for the same offences
equalising the male and female prison populations
reversing the trend to decriminalise female-only crimes
reversing the trend to increase the penalties for male-only crimes
police attitudes to prosecuting women for false accusations made against men
men being used as "support objects" by women
women living off the criminal earnings of men but not being prosecuted as accessories
equal rights for fathers in decisions as to abortion
linkage between child-support and access arrangements
laws and court procedures in relation to rape and sexual violation
My book discusses issues such as these in more detail.
The relevant point here is that the IJS has refused to allow me to talk to them about these sorts of issues, and they will certainly not have heard about them, in the context of Gender Equity, from any other source.
(vi) The Frontman Fallacy and Affirmative Action
Feminists, having got the legal system to accept the Frontman Fallacy thesis that the legal system has been run by men in the interests of men, have also been in the process of turning it into a female-dominated institution.
The IJS was founded in 1998. Since 1999, according to the webpage http://www.justice.govt.nz/courts/chief_justice.html , New Zealand has had a female Chief Justice: Dame Sian Elias. New Zealand has also had only female Prime Ministers since 1997, according to the webpage: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/Gallery/parlt-hist/mps-women.html . The Attorney-General is also a woman: Margaret Wilson, as is the Governor-General: Dame Sylvia Cartwright. I am not against having women in such positions -- but these women have all undoubtedly been Feminists, by my definition (see Sex, Lies & Feminism), which gives them a sort of victim complex, and a determination to carry out a Feminist agenda, in some ways and to some degree.
You will know from my stance on the Frontman Fallacy that I am more concerned by the policies of decision-makers than by their sex. Nevertheless, since Feminists do espouse the Frontman Fallacy, and since it is probably part of the justification for the Institute of Juducial Studies' refusing to allow me to give a presentation, I must point out that they are contradicting themselves: by their own Feminist reasoning, women are in charge of New Zealand -- in charge of the Judiciary, in particular -- so they should be treating men as victims of oppression, for "Gender Equity" purposes -- not women ! Feminists should , by their own reasoning, be banned from giving IJS presentations on this topic -- only Masculinists should be allowed to do that, at the present time. I stress that this is not my own belief, but a stance that the IJS is estopped from denying.
In addition, I think it is very likely that most or all of the above-mentioned female leaders have enjoyed a boost to their careers at various stages from the fact that they are female, because the New Zealand Establishment, influenced by the Frontman Fallacy, has been keen to promote women to top positions. Thus it is quite possible that men have had their careers correspondingly unfairly damaged, and that many or most of the above women have been promoted above their level of competence -- to the detriment of New Zealand society.
(vii) Interaction of IJS with Other Developments
There is now a new process for complaints against judges and for dismissing judges, since the recent passing into law of the Judicial Conduct Commissioner and Judicial Conduct Panel Act 2004 (see enclosed diagrammatic overview).
This new process has the principal effect of adding a Judicial Conduct Commissioner and a Judicial Conduct Panel to the previous process. While this may have what may be seen as the advantage of separating the Judiciary from the Legislature to a greater extent, it inserts one compulsory level of bureaucracy (the Judicial Conduct Commissioner) and one occasional level of bureaucracy (a Judicial Conduct Panel).
The problem with bureaucracies, from a Men's Rights point of view, is that they can relatively easily be indoctrinated with an ideology -- with Feminism, in particular -- as their personnel is not numerous, they are typically not open to lobbying, and they tend to develop a culture of their own. The New Zealand Public Service bureaucracy, to my knowledge, has a highly Feminist culture, which inevitably has a stronly anti-male component. Parliamentarians, by contrast, are open to lobbying from Society at large, and do not so readily develop a closed culture of their own.
Similarly, the Government has recently initiated public submissions on a proposal to bureaucratise the appointment of judges, by means of the creation of a Judicial Appointments Commission. I do not expect that either the Judicial Conduct bureaucracy or any future Judicial Appointments bureaucracy will necessarily be directly influenced by the IJS. Nevertheless, once the IJS has cemented a pro-female approach to "Gender Equity" into the culture of the Judiciary, one can expect this to be taken as one of the norms and standards against which applicants for positions in the Judiciary and the behaviour of judges who are the subject of complaints will be assessed.
(viii) The IJS's Breach of its Fiduciary Duty
Justice Toohey in Mabo (Mabo v Queensland (1992) ALR 1 (HCA), 157) states:
"... it is, in part at least, ... precisely the power to affect the interests of a person adversely which gives rise to a duty to act in the interests of that person; the very vulnerability gives rise to the need for the application of equitable principles."
It is in the spirit of that famous Human Rights judgement that I submit that the Institute of Judicial Studies has breached its fiduciary duty to me and all other males of New Zealand, by allowing itself to be captured by a one-sided ideology and by facile assumptions, leading to the formulation of its one-sided policy on presenters on Gender Equity.
(ix) The IJS's Conflict of Interest
In deciding that the IJS would teach judges Gender Equity, and that only Feminists (i.e. not Masculinists) would be allowed to teach that subject, the judges who run the IJS have put themselves in a situation of conflict of interest. Rule 1.03 of the New Zealand Law Society Rules of Professional Conduct for Barristers & Solicitors (7th Edition 2004) states:
A practitioner must not act or continue to act for any person where there is a conflict of interest between the practitioner on the one hand, and an existing or prospective client on the other hand.
In the present matter, the issue is whether there is a conflict of interest between judges as members of the Board of the IJS, or as participants in Gender Equity training sessions -- on the one hand -- and their role as judges in cases where counsel might find it necessary to address issues relating to Gender Equity -- on the other hand.
As judges, their professional interest is to be impartial, and to be seen to be impartial. However, they have decided that the IJS should teach certain values, and they have thereby betrayed their own lack of impartiality with respect to those values -- specifically, with respect to their interpretation of "Gender Equity". No person appearing before those judges -- or indeed any New Zealand judge -- can now feel able to argue a meaning for the term "Gender Equity" that differs from a Feminist one.
I submit that judges must not be held to a lower standard than other members of the legal profession. Arguably, they should be held to a much higher standard.
(x) The Ultra Vires Issue
It is not as if the term "Gender Equity" were an acknowledged part of the New Zealand Constitution. That is certainly not the case. I know of no New Zealand statute which gives that term any special status -- or even a definition. In effect, the IJS is creating constitutional law by fiat, without authority from Parliament, and without authority even from the Common Law, since the judges in the IJS act extra-judicially. I submit that their teaching of Gender Equity -- especially in this one-sided way -- is ultra vires and unconstitutional.
(ix) Intellectual Incompetence and Political Bias in the Legal Profession
One lawyer with whom I communicated about this maintained that judges were "too intelligent" to be taken in by Feminist approaches to Gender Equity. This is a flawed argument, for three reasons:
The IJS is estopped from making this argument, because it is bound to assume that what it teaches to judges has some effect on them -- as, indeed, it must surely do;
Peer-pressure, group dynamics, and authority of senior judges must surely all combine to force all but the most stubborn of judges to at least modify their stances, if they were initially hostile to Feminist propaganda;
Judges are by no means as intelligent as is sometimes assumed or claimed.
There is a legal fiction that judges are all "learned". This is important from the point of view
of courtroom discipline and so on, and it is right that ordinary lawyers should be deferential to
judges. However, it clearly cannot be (and is not) the case that all judges are learned (in areas
of knowledge that are outside the Law itself), or that they have a superhuman ability to resist
brainwashing -- in the context of the I.J.S..
c) How I consider that the facts and circumstances described violate my/our rights (Specific Articles of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights).
(i) Breach of Article 2
Article 2.1 states:
"Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."
Clearly, the IJS' policy of teaching judges "Gender Equity" merely from a female point of view breaches that provision.
Moreover, Article 2.3 states that:
Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes:
(a) To ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognized are violated shall have an effective remedy, notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity;
(b) To ensure that any person claiming such a remedy shall have his right thereto determined by competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities, or by any other competent authority provided for by the legal system of the State, and to develop the possibilities of judicial remedy;
The above-mentioned policy of the IJS (IJS) breaches Article 2.3 (a) because the policy biases judges against giving men an effective remedy when they are in dispute with a woman or girl. It also breaches Article 2.3 (b) because it potentially makes the entire New Zealand judicial system incompetent -- through bias -- to determine the rights of a male when he is in dispute with a female.
(ii) Breach of Article 3
Article 3 states:
The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights set forth in the present Covenant.
It follows from what I have stated in respect of Article 2 that the IJS is also in breach of Article 3. Men will have no such equal right, because it will not be enforced by the judges who have been trained in Gender Equity by the IJS.
(iii) Breach of Article 5
Article 5.1 states:
Nothing in the present Covenant may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms recognized herein or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the present Covenant.
I submit that the IJS policy in question amounts to engaging in an activity aimed at the destruction of some of the rights and freedoms recognized in the ICCPR or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in it. The rights and freedoms involved are those which I mention in connection with other Articles of the Covenant.
(iv) Breach of Article 14
Article 14.1 states, in part, that:
All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law.
It follows from what I have stated above that the IJS policy breaches article 14.1 by:
1. Making males potentially less than equal to women before the New Zeland courts and tribunals;
2. Ensuring that males who are in dispute with females will probably not receive a fair hearing; and:
3. Ensuring that New Zealand tribunals (which I take to include courts) will not be competent, independent or impartial with respect to disputes between males and females.
(vi) Breach of Article 25
Article 25 states, in part:
Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity, without any of the distinctions mentioned in article 2 and without unreasonable restrictions:
(a) To take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives;
The IJS policy in question breaches my right under Article 25 to take part in public affairs, without
distinctions on the basis of sex or gender, in the sense of contributing my expertise to the activities of the IJS.
(vii) Breach of Article 26
Article 26 states that:
All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
It clearly and plainly follows from what I have said above that the IJS policy concerned is in full-frontal breach of Article 26.
(OMITTED FROM ELECTRONIC VERSION)
7 January 2005
Secretary of the Human Rights Committee
Palais des Nations
Thank you for your letter of 22/11/04. I appreciate the fact that you responded very quickly to my petition of 14 November 2004 -- perhaps because I had sent you my Communication by email in advance.
I am writing to ask if you could please clarify your response, so that it conveys at least the bare minimum of information which I need, in order to decide what to do next. You selected items 6, 8, and 12 from your response checklist. I think I understand what you mean, as far as items 8 and 12 are concerned. However, since my Communication invoked no fewer than six (6) Articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, I request that you explain what you mean by selecting item 6, which reads:
"The object of your petition falls outside the scope of the relevant treaty."
The Articles which I invoked were Nos. 2, 3, 5, 14, 25, and 26. Which Articles of the ICCPR, in your opinion, are not relevant to my petition, please ?
Peter D. Zohrab
As at 5 March 2006 (i.e. 14 months later), I have not received a response to my request for clarification.