Go Back   AFA Forums > News and Social > News and Current Affairs

News and Current Affairs News reports related to (but not restricted to) religion, atheism and woo.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #331  
Old Yesterday, 03:55 PM
stevebrooks stevebrooks is online now
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,554
Default Re: Royal Commission into child abuse announced

Quote:
Darwinsbulldog said View Post
I understand, but there is a case to be made that while the danger may not be immediate, it may be inevitable.

There have been countless women who were murdered by their husbands or estranged husbands, even though they have been under restraining orders and shit like that.

In other words, I am dissatisfied that "immediate threat" while a necessary condition, is often not a sufficient condition for the safety of the victim.
Might as well call this the Peter Pan argument after the kids movie Hook with Robin Williams. At the climactic fight when Captain Hook is disarmed by Peter and stands helpless Peter, played by Robin Williams, leaves him alive, turns and walks off to take his kids back home.

At that point Captain Hook says;

Quote:
Peter. I swear to you wherever you go, wherever you are, I vow there will always be daggers bearing notes signed James Hook. They will be flung into doors of your children's children's children, do you hear me?
Knowing the truth of this Peter turns back and eventually Captain Hook is killed. It's even built into children's tales, there are some things you can't walk away from because they will follow you wherever you go.
__________________
From the mouth of a seven year old: "When you're you're dead, you don't go anywhere!"
Reply With Quote
  #332  
Old Yesterday, 06:51 PM
Darwinsbulldog's Avatar
Darwinsbulldog Darwinsbulldog is offline
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Perth
Posts: 17,599
Default Re: Royal Commission into child abuse announced

Quote:
stevebrooks said View Post
Might as well call this the Peter Pan argument after the kids movie Hook with Robin Williams. At the climactic fight when Captain Hook is disarmed by Peter and stands helpless Peter, played by Robin Williams, leaves him alive, turns and walks off to take his kids back home.

At that point Captain Hook says;

Knowing the truth of this Peter turns back and eventually Captain Hook is killed. It's even built into children's tales, there are some things you can't walk away from because they will follow you wherever you go.
Haven't seen the movie. But anyway, it is how the world works sometimes. Civilians can't understand that. Like all those people who whined to the police in Sydney after the Lindt cafe incident. Causalities were fucking LIGHT, and the Police did the best job possible.
__________________
Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifyable hypotheses to destruction.
Reply With Quote
Like The Irreverent Mr Black liked this post
  #333  
Old Yesterday, 10:00 PM
Blue Lightning's Avatar
Blue Lightning Blue Lightning is offline
"Mr Charles Darwin had the gall to ask"
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Sydney
Posts: 5,698
Default Re: Royal Commission into child abuse announced

A slight correction in relation to the so-called “gay panic” issue – The position is not so completely straightforward as my concluding comment might suggest. Many jurisdictions have abolished provocation in all forms. Some have enacted less complete repeals. For example, whilst NSW abolished provocation, it replaced it with a new, harder to establish, partial defence of “extreme provocation”, which is subject to a specific provision (s23(3)(a) – see in the link) stating that any “non-violent sexual advance” cannot give rise to the new partial defence. Thus, "gay panic" is no longer, ever, a defence. Note, also, that the amendment was specifically said not to be retrospective (s23(9) – see in link).

As to DBD's points:

Let me make a few prefatory remarks. It should be kept in mind that I deliberately simplified my commentary in relation to the so-called “gay panic” issue because of the nature of the law relating to homicide. These laws are derived from ancient common law, which had, and still has, a particular emphasis of leaving substantial room for factual judgment to juries. The idea being that a citizen cannot be condemned by Judges (or Law Lords!) alone, but only by the judgment of his or her peers. The common law so derived developed haphazardly, influenced by social progression over the centuries. Thus, this area of the law, IMO, is both complex and still evolving. It's really only in much more modern times that we've had law reform commissions and that Parliaments have sought to legislate with such frequency. Then, this law is at the heart of the state systems of justice, and we have six states, two internal territories, and a few add-ons, all of which have different systems. Hence my approach of perhaps over-simplification.

The position in relation to people, almost invariably women, in abusive relationships, who have acted as DBD has postulated, is well known in the common law. It's very complex, for generally the same sorts of reasons. (See also the papers cited below).

It's certainly fair to say that some feminist legal writers have criticised the law of self-defence on the basis that it is better tailored towards males, who are more likely, on the whole, to respond to a perceived threat of violence with immediate violence, than most women. That said, I do not agree that the law has been as limited as some of DBD's comments might suggest.

As a starting point, and fundamentally, I do not support vigilantism. The law is correct, in my view, to set the highest safeguards before it permits the taking of another life. Notice that I've characterised this in terms of the law “setting the highest safeguards”. One part of those safeguards is to place particular burdens upon any defendant who wishes to contend that a homicide was lawful. I've not said that homicide is always unlawful. Only that it should not be something which the law permits easily to be done. These are skeletal principles of any liberal democracy, and I would defend them.

Now let me cite an example, from as long as thirty years ago, of how the law responded to one such case:

In R v Bogunovich (1985) 16 A Crim R 456, the Supreme Court of New South Wales considered a case in which the wife of a highly abusive husband was charged with his murder. The Crown accepted her plea to manslaughter by reason of the extensive history of violence to which she had been subjected. From the University of Queensland / Australian Feminist Judgments Projects synopsis entitled “Battered Woman Syndrome” -

Quote:
... there was sufficient evidence of provocation on the part of the deceased towards the prisoner to justify a reduction from a charge of murder to a charge of manslaughter. The accused and her sons had been subject to extreme domestic violence by her husband over a period of 13 years. She had tried to leave him but was not able to. She thought she would be killed by him at any time. On the night of his death she went to pick him up from a club where he had been drinking. In the car park the deceased physically assaulted her, she went back to the car and grabbed a knife and stabbed him. The accused then drove herself to the police station to tell them what had happened. A psychiatrist was called as an expert to give evidence of their relationship for the Court …
The sentencing Judge, Maxwell J, held ((1985) 16 A Crim R 4 at 460-2):

Quote:
... that Mrs Bogunovich could perceive the conflict with her husband at that time as an actual major threat on her life is highly probable. It is very reasonable to state that she was motivated to persist in continuing somehow to try and hold on to life, something that she had done in spite of a severe level of chronic psychological stress. What she was very probably doing when, according to reports she stabbed her husband, was preserving her own life. It is not all that relevant as to what her husband might have intended to do to her at the time. Her mind was influenced by her severely depressed state …

... I am unable to find any valid reason for the imposition of a custodial sentence. I am quite satisfied that the deceased’s persistent ill-treatment and abuse of the prisoner, and her knowledge of his assaults upon his sons, were such as to render this a special case in which a non-custodial penalty should be imposed …
The accused was fined $5000 and subjected to 4 year non-custodial good behaviour bond.

The role of Parliaments in reform in this area is not as straightforward as one might think. On the one hand, there might be a temptation to legislate in ever greater detail, passing ever finer-grained legislation, which attempts to deal with the multitudinous ways in which people may act. Such laws necessarily become extremely complex. They become very difficult for anyone, even a highly trained lawyer, to comprehend the whole structure and know what it is lawful and what is not, especially in the heat of a domestic violence situation. Further, no matter how fine grained that the approach is, there will always be the next, somewhat different, permutation of facts, and the potentiality for disparate outcomes between cases. Generally, the effect of overly fine grained legislation is to attempt constrain ever more tightly the decision making processes of juries. This may not always be effective (see paper cited below) and detracts somewhat from the fundamental role of juries.

Rather, broadly speaking, the law has set high safeguards to make it hard for a life to be taken, and left it to juries to determine whether in the particular facts presented in each case, those safeguards have been met. (Again, that's me perhaps over-simplifying.)

The law here is complex and still evolving. The High Court in 1998, for example, has provided further guidance subsequent to the Bogunovich case referred to above. Most of the jurisdictions have subsequently legislated to further liberalise the position in relation to situations of profound domestic violence. To date, Victoria might be considered to the most progressive legislation in this field of any of the Australian jurisdictions (but see comments re New Zealand below). A lot more could be said, but we're getting way, way OT for this thread. If anyone is interested in a detailed catalogue of the Australian cases over the last half century, they could look the synopsis from the University of Queensland and the Australian Feminist Judgments Projects cited above or at the even more comprehensive paper of Elizabeth Sheehy, Julie Stubbs and Julia Tolmie, “Defences to Homicide for Battered Women: A Comparative Analysis of Laws in Australia, Canada and New Zealand” (2012) Sydney Law Review 467.

Indeed, it's worth quoting the conclusion of the latter paper:

Quote:
Our review reveals a disparate array of potentially relevant defences with different technical requirements across the jurisdictions under scrutiny. While some jurisdictions appear to be more responsive to the defence claims of accused battered women in terms of case outcomes, our review does not reveal a straightforward relationship between the strictness of the statutory legal requirements of the various defences in any particular jurisdiction and the manner in which these cases are resolved. New Zealand, for example, has had one of the more liberal statutory definitions of self-defence throughout the period under scrutiny (2000–10) and yet has the highest conviction rate for murder and the lowest acquittal rate over that period of time. The converse appears to be true for Canada.

How judges and juries interpret and apply the legal requirements for defences when battered women are on trial, and how they assess the factual context in which they do so is clearly influential in these outcomes. The significant role played by the social context in which a battered woman is tried — the social and political assumptions and understandings of her jury and the community from which it is drawn, the gender and cultural competence of her counsel, the position taken by Crown counsel, the evidentiary rulings and attitude expressed by the presiding judge — is a critical but difficult aspect to explore. Law reform in Australia, Canada and New Zealand may thus be outstripped or undercut by the rate of social change in the broader society as well as within the legal profession. What is also of concern is that many women are still not testing their self-defence cases on the facts. The charging practices of prosecutors and the sentencing implications of a murder conviction mean that a significant proportion of these defendants in Australia and Canada during the time period under examination appear to have responded to the pressure to plead guilty to manslaughter in exchange for murder charges being dropped. Battered women’s guilty pleas in this context not only risk compromising their innocence, but also make assessment of law reforms in the area incomplete and tentative.
__________________
"Just stick to the idea that science is just about making descriptive models of natural phenomena, whose emergent predictions are tested to destruction" - Woof!
"Science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves" - Richard Feynman

Last edited by Blue Lightning; Yesterday at 10:59 PM.
Reply With Quote
Like Darwinsbulldog liked this post
Thank Darwinsbulldog thanked this post
  #334  
Old Yesterday, 10:26 PM
Blue Lightning's Avatar
Blue Lightning Blue Lightning is offline
"Mr Charles Darwin had the gall to ask"
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Sydney
Posts: 5,698
Default Re: Royal Commission into child abuse announced

Quote:
Darwinsbulldog said View Post
... Like all those people who whined to the police in Sydney after the Lindt cafe incident. Causalities were fucking LIGHT, and the Police did the best job possible.
It's possible you might be getting ahead of where we should be at, DBD. With reference to the spate of "whining" reported by the media, it has been more than a two way street:

Quote:
The President of the New South Wales Bar Association, Arthur Moses SC, today said that coronial inquiries are an essential part of our justice system and their role to make recommendations to improve the safety of the public is essential.

A member of the NSW Police Association has today criticised the Lindt Coronial Inquiry process and the role of lawyers appearing in the Inquiry.

“It was inappropriate and unfair for the coronial process and the lawyers to have been attacked in this manner. The lawyers involved in this Inquiry had a difficult job to do and discharged their functions with integrity” said Mr Moses.

“Equally, no one can question the courage of the police officers involved in the Lindt Siege, but it was critical that the coronial inquiry examine the events surrounding the siege and understand precisely what took place.”

“Rather than rush to judgment, at this point it is important that everybody await the coronial report so that it can be properly examined in the context of actual findings or recommendations. In the meantime, personal attacks on the coroner and lawyers are not appropriate and undermine public confidence in the important role played by the coroner.”

...
__________________
"Just stick to the idea that science is just about making descriptive models of natural phenomena, whose emergent predictions are tested to destruction" - Woof!
"Science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves" - Richard Feynman

Last edited by Blue Lightning; Yesterday at 10:32 PM.
Reply With Quote
Thank DanDare thanked this post
  #335  
Old Yesterday, 11:30 PM
DanDare's Avatar
DanDare DanDare is offline
Religion or Reality, choose...
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 7,256
Default Re: Royal Commission into child abuse announced

With regard to abuse victims and the law you need to be careful in accepting that everyone who claims self defence is telling the truth.Otherwise people will game the system to get away with murder.
The down side is that people who truly are defending themselves are put in the position of having to show they made a reasonable choice.
Yet another reason for me to dislike the death penalty.
__________________
"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government".
-Thomas Jefferson

Burden of proof is the obligation on somebody presenting a claim to provide evidence to support its truth (a warrant). Once evidence has been presented, it is up to any opposing "side" to show the evidence presented is not adequate. If claims were accepted without warrants, then every claim could simultaneously be claimed to be true.

History isn't written by the victors. It's written by the people with the time machines.
Reply With Quote
  #336  
Old Today, 01:46 PM
Darwinsbulldog's Avatar
Darwinsbulldog Darwinsbulldog is offline
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Perth
Posts: 17,599
Default Re: Royal Commission into child abuse announced

Quote:
Blue Lightning said View Post
It's possible you might be getting ahead of where we should be at, DBD. With reference to the spate of "whining" reported by the media, it has been more than a two way street:
Indeed. And I totally understand the personal grief folks at the deaths of friends and family. But as I understand the situation [from open sources] the police negotiated for many hours to talk the terrorist down, and it was only after shot were fired inside the Cafe, that the assault team stormed the building. One of the problems, as I understood it, was that the terrorist was wearing a bomb-vest.

Anyway, if that is the correct description of events, then of course a SWAT assault had no guarantee of success.

But to put it bluntly, anyone caught in a situation like that is going to probable that one ends up as dead meat.

I have been through one of those ranges, and I can tell you, it is incredibly difficult to shoot the "bad guy" quickly enough AND avoid hitting some "innocents". It takes practice, practice, practice, and only a few can actually do it well, and they end up as members of Delta force, the SAS, and police SWAT teams and the like.

And in such situation, there are no right answers. Just shades of grey. Sometimes you are lucky, and sometimes not. And yes, proper procedures and training help enormously. Professionalism, training, dedication, bravery all count. But in the end it is a crap shoot. You can do fancy shit like drilling holes in walls to get audio and video of the situation, to spot where the hostages are, and the gunman/terrorists are, and that helps too.

But in the end, with only two dead, it was a fantastic result. Could it have been done better? Perhaps. But I doubt it. Not much better anyway. There are always too many unknowns. You can do everything right, and still all or most of the hostages can die.

Do nothing, and they will all probably die anyway. And in the larger picture, a government that continually does nothing would be a soft target for terrorists. It is a reality of the times, these mini-wars. There will be casualties, until the conditions are such that no one needs or wants to get something by violent acts.

And of course, I am NOT opposed to a review of the situation, to make sure everything possible was done. And more training is obviously not going to hurt. If you want to get a skill as perfect as you can you do it again, and gain and again. You can dream up every kind of scenario, and practice it until you can dream it, and then do it some more.
__________________
Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifyable hypotheses to destruction.

Last edited by Darwinsbulldog; Today at 01:53 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #337  
Old Today, 02:13 PM
stevebrooks stevebrooks is online now
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,554
Default Re: Royal Commission into child abuse announced

Quote:
Darwinsbulldog said View Post
Indeed. And I totally understand the personal grief folks at the deaths of friends and family. But as I understand the situation [from open sources] the police negotiated for many hours to talk the terrorist down, and it was only after shot were fired inside the Cafe, that the assault team stormed the building. One of the problems, as I understood it, was that the terrorist was wearing a bomb-vest.

Regarding BL's post about provocation and the Lindt siege and police reaction, some in the media have mentioned that police snipers could have killed the terrorist previous to anyone being killed. Apart from the fact that I have to comment, none them are fucking snipers, do they really have any idea what goes through a snipers head when he is sitting there with his rifle at the ready pondering whether to kill another human being, really talk about absurdity.


The police are also, or should be covered by this same standard, killing someone is a last resort, taken only when all else fails to resolve the issue. If there had already been deaths then the snipers actions may have been clearer, but in the situation the snipers couldn't a) be sure that they were authorised and justified to shoot and b) could shoot safely without harming another person.


If the snipers had shot and accidently killed one of the hostages, or missed and the siege ended the same way anyway we might be seeing a police sniper being charged, damned if they do and damned if they don't is not an uncommon situation for law enforcement and military personal, for a civilian to come in and tell them what they should have done is not going to be welcomed, so I can understand some of the police angst over the investigation.


I strongly suspect the police will come out exonerated, if they are harshly and unfairly punished by the law, media or public opinion it will actually make their job harder, not easier.
__________________
From the mouth of a seven year old: "When you're you're dead, you don't go anywhere!"
Reply With Quote
Like Darwinsbulldog liked this post
Thank Darwinsbulldog thanked this post
  #338  
Old Today, 02:24 PM
Darwinsbulldog's Avatar
Darwinsbulldog Darwinsbulldog is offline
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Perth
Posts: 17,599
Default Re: Royal Commission into child abuse announced

Quote:
DanDare said View Post
With regard to abuse victims and the law you need to be careful in accepting that everyone who claims self defence is telling the truth.Otherwise people will game the system to get away with murder.
The down side is that people who truly are defending themselves are put in the position of having to show they made a reasonable choice.
Yet another reason for me to dislike the death penalty.
But surely in most cases of battered wives, there are hospital or police records, documents from social workers, psychologists etc etc, if indeed the women had truly been subjected to long term physical abuse?

If such is true, if the predator had a restraining order out on him, if the women changes identity and address [sometimes several times], and she is still pursued with menaces by the offender then, it cannot be murder. [BTW "Ray Martin" is not a pretty stage name for that journalist the freeing woman and children, chose that name to go covert, in an attempt to shake off her asshole husband].

As BL's post points out, the law had been slow to change to cultural circumstances. Even today, there are many parts of the world, and within Oz, where men believe women are little better than property, can be beaten, raped etc, and this is regarded as a right of marriage. However wrong this is many men still believe it. [One more reason to get rid of religions and outdated and barbaric cultural practices].

I do not approve of vigilantism either. Not generally. But I had better not be on a jury where the facts clearly show a history of violence and abuse. I would not vote to convict her for murder, or for that matter, manslaughter. "Death by misadventure" I would call it. The predator held himself up greater than the law, and if a women deems him a continuing severe threat to her life or those of her kids, then he has lucked out, and paid the price. Better him than her or the kids.

In any case, it is unreasonable to assume reason on someone who has been bullied and degraded by abuse for a long time. Such stresses and anxiety is not conducive to logical, reasoned philosophical discourse. We can hardly expect the victim to be a paragon of reason while under threat.

This is where I think the law can be an ass. [But as BL points out, this is not invariably the case].

People playing the predator game should not have the law being too solicitous about their legal rights. Of course there must be due process. Of course, vigilantism is a real danger, but unless the law can provide reasonable levels of protection [not perfect, which is impossible] then self defence must prevail as a human right. To merely consider it under "clear and present danger" "Rules Of Engagement" is naive in extremis, as well as being a threat to life and liberty to those individuals considered as prey or property by thugs.
__________________
Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifyable hypotheses to destruction.
Reply With Quote
  #339  
Old Today, 02:40 PM
Darwinsbulldog's Avatar
Darwinsbulldog Darwinsbulldog is offline
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Perth
Posts: 17,599
Default Re: Royal Commission into child abuse announced

Quote:
stevebrooks said View Post
Regarding BL's post about provocation and the Lindt siege and police reaction, some in the media have mentioned that police snipers could have killed the terrorist previous to anyone being killed. Apart from the fact that I have to comment, none them are fucking snipers, do they really have any idea what goes through a snipers head when he is sitting there with his rifle at the ready pondering whether to kill another human being, really talk about absurdity.


The police are also, or should be covered by this same standard, killing someone is a last resort, taken only when all else fails to resolve the issue. If there had already been deaths then the snipers actions may have been clearer, but in the situation the snipers couldn't a) be sure that they were authorised and justified to shoot and b) could shoot safely without harming another person.


If the snipers had shot and accidently killed one of the hostages, or missed and the siege ended the same way anyway we might be seeing a police sniper being charged, damned if they do and damned if they don't is not an uncommon situation for law enforcement and military personal, for a civilian to come in and tell them what they should have done is not going to be welcomed, so I can understand some of the police angst over the investigation.


I strongly suspect the police will come out exonerated, if they are harshly and unfairly punished by the law, media or public opinion it will actually make their job harder, not easier.
Indeed Steve, and I have met a few veteran snipers. No training can take away the fact that they shot human beings for living, and even when they know it was necessary, they still feel-how can I put it? "Soulless". Empty. Guilty. Most soldier feel sick at heart after a battle. some never recover. The personal, and yet "detached" aspect of sniping is probably one of the worst aspects of combat. Every job like that has a huge personal cost, in addition to putting one's own life on the line.

An yet some think it is an easy task, even if they recognise the technical skills involved. Must have watched too many John Wayne movies, I guess!
__________________
Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifyable hypotheses to destruction.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +11. The time now is 03:23 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.