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Judges to wear gowns to give Family Court ‘gravitas’

Filed under: Law & Courts — MurrayBacon @ 11:56 am Fri 17th August 2007

Judges’ gowns are to make a comeback in the Family Court after its principal judge called for a change to help the court to be taken more seriously.
Family Court judges and lawyers are currently forbidden by law from wearing either gowns or wigs “to prevent unnecessary formality”.
Principal Judge Peter Boshier said he asked for a return of the gowns to raise the gravitas of the court in the public’s eye.
“I felt the Family Court ought to be seen by the public as a court that makes decisions that should be respected.
“We have suffered a little bit in the past from some people who have not taken Family Court decisions as seriously as they otherwise would have.
“So the introduction of the gowns is symbolic but important. It shows the court is a mainstream court whose decisions should be viewed no differently from any other court.”
extract NZ Herald

30 Responses to “Judges to wear gowns to give Family Court ‘gravitas’”

  1. MurrayBacon says:

    I approached the familycaught in good faith and with trepidation. I had heard “unbelievable” stories about what happens in this “caught”.
    My ex-wife treated the familycaught orders with contempt. The judges made comments mildly criticising her actions, but their actions were to strongly support and reinforce her behaviour. Through this I learned to view the familycaught with the same contempt, that it showed to its own orders.
    I learned over time that this is commonplace, so that I now hold the familycaught in the same contempt that it holds its own orders. I quickly learned to protect my life from these relationship vandals, by not taking the familycaught’s skills or ethics seriously or rely upon them in any way.
    I have noticed that of the people I have known, who have spent stupid sums >$50,000, (men and women) on familycaught legal workers, they have been people who trusted and took the familycaught seriously. (My spending reached $850 and I got value for money from $500 of this.)
    I am not sure if regressing to ridiculous gowns and century old wigs will help the familycaught to deliver better quality service at a realistic cost?
    Boshier seems to see judges more as paid actors than mediators, so do I!
    I would only be impressed, if I saw them doing their job successfully, in the light of day.
    I believe that the job should be done by people who have useful wisdom and skills in family relationships and finances.
    Please work it out for yourself.
    Good luck, MurrayBacon

  2. Alastair says:

    Yeah Right. They rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic to

  3. Rob Case says:

    It shows the court is a mainstream court whose decisions should be viewed no differently from any other court

    Isn’t the family court a secret court?
    If we have no idea how its decisions are arrived at and on what facts, doesn’t that necessarily mean we must view its decisions differently ?

  4. Bevan Berg says:

    Who ever named it the Family Court Matters Bill, (if that wasn’t by accident), we do appreciate your sense of humour. Thank you, thank you very much.

  5. dad4justice says:

    Judge Peter Boshier is clearly insane and the sick and dysfunctional family court is from the gallery of the absurd. The half wit Boshier still listens to the radical feminazi’s that are destroying our nation as these bilious bitches scream out; half the couple , twice the parent. Welcome to New Zealnad where the gender hateful Labour filth have a booming fractured family business going.

  6. John Brett says:

    “the court to be taken more seriously” ?
    So there is a problem with the court being taken seriously.
    Note for anyone involved –
    You are not expected to take the Family Court seriously.
    My problem with the family court is that it fails to take a man’s position as father seriously.
    What would be the appropriate garb then for a father to wear to show the court that “He is a mainstream parent, to be taken as seriously as any other parent?”
    Pyjamas perhaps, with a nappy over the shoulder, a couple of safety pins, and some stains?

  7. Benjamin Easton says:

    Thise would be fairly easy and inexpensive costumes to aquire, if a group of fathers wanted to do a protest walk down Queen St, or parade outside a court.

  8. dad4justice says:

    Yes 50 people dressed as Judge Dreads – the mind boggles ???

  9. Dave says:

    The “gown” is basically a dress that has not been taken in at the waist. I think it is only proper that family court judges be required to wear these dresses. No doubt these dresses will be black – the colour of mourning.

    By wearing a black dress at all times it provides a more honest picture of what is intended for the child that the procedings are about. The family caught is a mothers court and so it is only proper that this is reflected by the judge wearing a dress.

    Black is most appropriate since it may help to get across to the father that he should be mourning the loss of his child, if he hasn’t already reached that stage. It helps to set the realistic expectation that this is a process for destroying the child’s relationship with Dad. What were those father’s thinking?

    If fathers want the family caught to start taking them seriously then they should be turning up at court in pink dresses – not demonstrating outside judges homes.

  10. Benjamin Easton says:

    If someone in Auckland organises a protest of PJ’s and pink dresses, in early October, in Auckland, then I will do my best by plan to get there.

    I’d wear PJ’s.

    There is a more significant issue underlying all of this which in dialogue seems to be missing. Can you see it?

    Why are they doing this? It is because of us and our fashioning disrespect for the court. It is the court answer as now a new Bill comes in to reportect the instiutions. These intellectual and powerful folk have replied to us, over and above reviews and every other dysfunction operating within family law and said again “we will stamp our authority over parents”.

    So how are we not going to take this lying down? Or are we going to lie down? Are we going to talk more? Or are those who have challenged the courts in such a manner to force this reply going to reply again?

    Quickly: before any seriously think about thinking about the questions asked, I ask you to ask yourself one primary question, committing to its result with tenacity, honesty and justice.

    Are you right to criticise the court?

  11. Scrap_The_CSA says:

    Justice walks heavy in this land
    she bears a rope and shroud
    we cannot change our policy
    says harry fat the proud.

  12. Rob Case says:

    That’s the second time I’ve seen you post this Scrap. “Harry fat the proud” is lost on me though. Care to enlighten?

  13. Scrap_The_CSA says:

    Rob,

    James K Baxter. (Link to words 1/2way down page)

    “Baxter’s poem was in response to the hanging of a young Maori man, who – yes – killed another man, in a panic when he was surprised in a petty burglary.

    A lot of people weren’t comfortable about Te Whiu’s hanging, nor with then Prime Minister, Sydney Holland, who was a shade too orotund and smug in supporting the execution. Baxter helped find the words, and his poem helped to change the law.”

  14. MurrayBacon says:

    Clothing – or life from under a shiny polished gravestone?
    Judge Boshier is trying to divert people away from the real issue
    — is the familycaught successfully performing the role that it is too generously funded to perform?
    The substantive issues relate to performance of official duties and the quality of their behaviour:
    1. timeliness of decisions?
    2. have the facts been weighed and identified correctly?
    3. has the decision made delivered value or disvalue to the family in question?
    4. has the decision provided an incentive for the parties to work together constructively?
    5. Has familycaught succeeded in the above, at a cost that you would expect from successful professionals?

    Has Judge Boshier given the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, or has he selectively released information, to attempt to put the familycaught into the best light?

    I warn my children, that when anyone says to them overtly “Trust me!”, quickly step well back and look carefully through ALL of the facts. To be sure that you are looking at ALL of the facts, you need to gather them yourself. Don’t lazily trust the information that they put before you. If it is important, then seek out the facts yourself. Bring out and uncover the covert facts. Go to the people who do know.

    We are all hampered by limited access to experience of familycaught performance. The people who have the best access to familycaught experience have a vested financial interest in sustaining the present operations, rather than reporting faithfully to the public “what really goes on”. Their judgements are clouded by their limited experience – they have familycaught experience, but lack experience of the real life faced by most of their customers (victims?). People with honour and integrity tend to leave work in familycaught.

    Ask your friends, workmates, family about their experiences with familycaught. Ask about women’s experience, ask about men’s experience. Weigh their comments carefully and with the degree of wisdom that you use to protect your own children and grandchildren. Don’t jump to conclusions. Each year, spend a day or two in some courts and make your own judgement. Some legal workers claim that the work of the courts is subtle and beyond the understanding of the public. If the public cannot understand the issue, then is consideration of this issue delivering any value at all to the consumers?

    Whenever a monopoly occurs, then there are extreme conflicts of interest. Usually these will be guarded against, using supervision by people who are NOT subject to the temptations of the conflict of interest. Through the last 50 years, supervision of competitive constructive trades and professions has been removed from being under the sole supervision of the members of the trade or profession.

    Legal workers are not under outside supervision, as they have been able to protect their privacy from accountability, mainly through the large numbers of lawyers in Parliament. When issues about supervision of legal workers arise, unfortunately the non-lawyer Parliamentarians tend to sit back and leave it to the legal workers among them to make the decisions. This severely disserves the customers for legal services. This is the same conflict of interest arising. Parliamentarians are required to abstain from voting on issues where they have a personal pecuniary interest.

    Boshier has released limited information about the familycaught performance. One example relates to Chris Jones and his family. Material was selected to show the familycaught acting to protect a child from a mother who manipulated the judges and repeatedly treated their judgements with abject contempt.

    A little thought will quickly allow the reader to see that this had actually been going on for several years, before these deficient judges took any constructive action.

    Were these judges primarily protecting the child, or were they creating further income for themselves and the legal workers who feed from charging parents and legal aid?

    What were the consequences for the child, of these legal workers “milking” this family?
    Has Judge Boshier taken any action to undo the damage done to the father, having to defend against ongoing cases fought with the financial support of “legal aid”?
    By providing “legal aid” to the mother, the care able to be provided by the father for the child has been limited and impoverished. What real actions has Judge Boshier taken to address these issues?
    Has Judge Boshier taken remedial actions within a timeframe appropriate to the development of a child?

    Discussions about judges clothing fail in any way to address the issues that relate to the duties of the familycaught.

    For Judge Boshier to spend his time dreaming about wigs and gowns, is simply a waste of Government money, when there are unresolved issues that a competent manager would be addressing. This is merely amateur dramatics on a high salary.

    In my own experience, my wife’s lawyer (Sarah Flemming 6th October 1993 told me an untruth about the procedure that the familycaught would follow. I was at first quite scared by this, as it roughly fitted in with stories I had heard about familycaught. I quickly realised that a legal worker would only descend to these tactics, if they lacked knowledge about legal procedure and strategy or thought their client’s case was very weak. Certainly an adversarial, no ethics and anything goes style. I wrote within 24 hours to the familycaught Registrar, to try to make sure her untruth could not happen.

    Imagine my astonishment, when several years later I heard that she had been appointed familycaught judge!

    A few weeks ago, several familycaught legal workers defended familycaught judges, saying that they are only appointed after rigorous investigations of their suitability. It appears to me, that their “rigorous investigations” are as casual about evidence and weighing facts, as these legal workers are in the familycaught! Even with my complaint in their files (and who knows how many other similar complaints), they went ahead and appointed Sarah Flemming as familycaught judge! This shows why real professions always address complaints and investigate them competently and as quickly as possible. I rest my case!

    Certainly, if I met Judge Boshier, I would want to put my hand up him, grab him by the throat and turn him inside out. I have listened carefully to many people’s experiences and I believe that he is head and shoulders above the other familycaught judges. He is often willing to listen to evidence.

    Although these recent law changes may provide for slightly greater openness of familycaught proceedings, they will be easily stymied by anybody wishing freedom to commit perjury, by claiming fear. Rather than needing to restrict the access of family members to attend hearings, the familycaught would be assisted far more by the attendance of family members. These people do have the best knowledge of what has gone on and what these parents are like. The Best Rule of Evidence says that as far as possible, the best type of evidence should always be tendered, unless these is some very good or practical reason why it is unavailable. The familycaught ignores this rule, as it is far more profitable for them personally.

    It scares me greatly, that instead of assisting public discussion about the performance of individual judges, Judge Boshier protects and hides the other judge’s performances from constructive informed public discussion. This will never move the familycaught forward, to have any hope of reliably protecting people. Example K v C High Court appeal.

    The familycaught was authorised by Parliament, on a promise of a conciliative and inquisitorial style over adversarial. The opportunity given by Parliament to the legal workers was never honoured. It never will be, most of their eyes are clouded by greed for easy money.

    The present familycaught adversarial over inquisitorial behaviour has been an unauthorised “unfortunate experiment” on human beings. The greatest ethical sin in carrying out human experimentation, is to fail to evaluate the outcome. If the suffering has been sustained, then it is ethically imperative to evaluate what has happened, to try to ensure that the lessons in blood and crushed bone have been learned. We investigate all aircraft crashes with vigour, intellect, analysis and wisdom. We need to do the same for the familycaught.

    To continue the present familycourt operation under Judge Boshier’s programming, is to stand by whilst each familycaught hearing, under cover of fog and cloud, performs “Controlled Flight Into Terrain” for the family.
    Malfeasance
    Daugherty v. Ellis, 142 W. Va. 340, 357-8, 97 S.E.2d 33, 42-3 (W. Va. 1956) (internal citations omitted).
    The court then went onto use yet another definition, “malfeasance is the doing of an act which an officer had no legal right to do at all and that when an officer, through ignorance, inattention, or malice, does that which he has no legal right to do at all, or acts without any authority whatsoever, or exceeds, ignores, or abuses his powers, he is guilty of malfeasance.”
    Nevertheless a few “elements” can be distilled from those cases. First, malfeasance in office requires an affirmative act or omission. Second, the act must have been done in an official capacity–under the color of office. Finally, that that act some how interferes with the performance of official duties–though some debate remains about “whose official” duties.

    Over 25 years, I believe that over 2,000 suicides are substantially linked to familycaught legal worker’s malfeasance behaviours. These deaths would not have completed, if the malfeasances, which can occur so easily in secret, had not occurred. Two thousand mothers and fathers through 25 years is a small enough number, that dying separately and alone, they can easily be lost and forgotten. The numbers are about a tenth of the road toll. They are, fortunately, outside of the daily experience of most of us. This is no reason to be complacent, they are someone’s loved father, mother or child. Their children are still with us and they too are subject to much higher suicide mortality than happy children. Lets face our skeletons and take better care of these people. There’s little satisfaction in life under a shiny polished gravestone.

    I am working to clarify these issues and stop the unnecessary flow of blood.

    The costs of a Commission of Enquiry would be repaid in much less than 25 years. What value to we place on our children and their children. Many of the people driven to step off this life were troubled. Some of them were also our most creative and sensitive geniuses.

    Qualifications that are not relevant to the tasks at hand, may deliver dis-service rather than service.

    The solution is simple and cost reducing:
    (a) employ judges with professional level training as judges
    (b) employ people with professional level of knowledge and skills about caring for children, family relationships and finances
    (c ) employ people who don’t feel the need for obscenely ostentatious wages, so that more time can be devoted to getting the facts right
    (d) manage the conflicts of interest, to serve public rather than staff within the system

    Lets just do the job properly, it isn’t difficult!
    Good luck for being able to see your grandchildren! MurrayBacon.

  15. Benjamin Easton says:

    UNfortunately, if the judges are able to reinvest in their black attire, it will be beyond the days where James K Baxter has any such effect. James K Baxter will have to write a poem or two from his grave, when joined by an odd souls or two; loving parents damaged beyond reason by the interference of lawyers, demanding their authority over the commoner, as swagged in wigs and shawls.

    The thing that irks me most of all about all of this, to a fury by maturing contempt, is that underscoring these alleged justifications for the elite of lawyers as to prevail over basic demands of humanity is their mistake against the construction of legislation as it is theirs to be overseen.

    An example: Dianne Christie (? – I think this is her name) has just introduced an idea to consider separating degrees of violence, isolating sexual violence against children for what it is rather than how it can be “smudged” into the blanketness of “domestic violence”.

    Good for her! About time!

    While it is that there are two primary arguments for which to show caution in instituting this policy, that sexual violence itself is as direct an impugnity against teh functionality of mankind as it is against any individual victim, an ancient truth which for some reason these of our brightest folk (legalheads and poliminds) seem, somehow, to of overlooked. People are damaged badly when someone violates them in a sexual manner. Bruising wounds the body and the confidence but sexual violence etches into the soul.

    The primary component of this annoyance is that it is blatantly obvious. Yet to separate violence into categories: would be far too simple, and if it is simple by policy then it does not require the more rigourous test of law schools, select committees, professional councellors, Royal inquiries, and other forms of board.

    This is to say that if we were more organised dealing with the problems we face: in a probative and collaborative way, then there wouldn’t be any room for the blatant exploitation that makes one disproportionate group of society (the poor and undereducated) exploitable.

    To counter this; the intellectual, or possibly academic has to range into the region of conjecture, lifting the argument into a hypothesis, one that further conditions the general public into confusion and therefore creating need for greater debate, committee or at its worst a referendum that doesn’t get bound. So another child gets raped.

    This conjecture is identical to teh primary problem of those people who are smart being too smart and making everyone else figure that they are stupid – something that I have been accused of I’ll point out as being offered conjecture in itself.

    This brings us back to the two points of why there might be two primary arguments that could interfere with it being obvious to sift out sexual violence agaisnt any individual as a different category to that of ordinary physical – or I would say the more generic form of (broad) emotional violence.

    Here you have to identify the two problems to isolate their differences, where on face value they are similar.

    (1) Women’s sexuality is different from that of mens.

    (2) Our conditioning of violence does not accomodate these differences as necessarily requiring differentiation.

    So while Dianne Christie has come up with something quite obvious, that sexual violence is very different from physical violence, those folk who will exploit the system will want to retain their power to put food, (as they like it) on their tables, failing to recognise that men use sex differently from women, and that women’s violence will be further immersed into this never never secret that noone really understands.

    “so the judge can bleach his wig”

  16. Benjamin Easton says:

    Phew Murray – yours script is longer than mine! Fortunately (trust me) I don’t feel I need to read further down (yet) from the point you have made in the earliest section – yet seem not to have calculated as being the focus and drive of your submission.

    The greates facade presented to protect the Family Court “caught” as you term are the low numbers who use the court in its most arbitrary form against those who simply separate and work out the business without too much ado.

    The previous weekend to last I was informed accurately I believe that this number is equivalent to 6%. While seemingly a small number I am also told from Boshier’s figures that the Family Court is the most widely used court of all.

    Your point is profound. It; was the reason I did not use the court and decided to challenge its authority in the first place. As you suggest, I researched the court before using it. It took me one conversation with a lawyer I trusted to decide not to use the court. He said effectively “if you go there you are stuffed – just count your losses and give up the fight now”.

    That is the advice that is still given to fathers on mass. Don’t fight. Organise yourself into your new life as tidely as you can. Stop the stress and stop the bitching. Accept the tax and get on with it.

    People who read this site because they have some familiarity with having gone into teh court and for having been wounded in the fashion that I at least was advised to avoid, are right for having taken teh stand they did – and as you now advocate to become more efficient in challenging for challenging against the gross injustices that have seen dads forced away from their (beloved) sons and daughters because it is all JUST too hard.

    The Family Caught will not accept this and in order to protect itself fromt he details of overt criticism is set to offer us more of the same – dressed in black and ready to wound.

  17. MurrayBacon says:

    The familycaught can sometimes be used successfully by men. Men should not be persuaded to give up on the familycaught, just because of familycaught self interest and incompetence of its workers (judges and lawyers).
    Women are vandalised by this familycaught, not as often as men, but still far far too often.
    There is a job to be done and children to be cared for.
    Customers should be able to have confidence that hearings will proceed in a timely fashion and be handled competently and professionally and come to a wise outcome.
    Outcomes are far too random, as occurs with any machine that ignores input information, doesn’t understand input information, lacks values, quality control, competent workers and competent oversight.
    Don’t give up, just because there are trolls and highwaymen on the bridge. Evil trolls are subject to many hazards. Truth and honest information are the best (but alas not the fastest tools) to take out these daylight robbers.
    There are indications of “improvement” in familycaught.
    I believe these are more signs of sharing vandalism fairly between women and men, than of performing the task successfully!
    I do not want this to happen.
    Two wrongs never made a right.
    I am asking for is efficient competent practice.
    Don’t give up because you have met a nightmare vulture troll.
    Take the best care of your children and show them the love of caring.

  18. Benjamin Easton says:

    What I didn’t qualify in that first post, where it wasn’t primary, was why the here and now is more important than to traverse lessons in history, where the lessons in history are that history will be repeated unless there is an interference of the like from James K Baxter:

    That point was; where the lawyers do not have the authority to sit, whether in pink dresses, black frocks or PJs.

    The FC is not a demand from a socially functional democracy where the public interest for the Care of Children Act 2004 quite clearly specifies in s.15 that the “parent” has an inherent right.

    The acts undertaken in the FC are relevant to the presumption of authority over guardianship where it is the right that can be manipulated.

    For a lesson to be learned from history as you put it, we need a situation that has benefited directly from the effects of a James K Baxter. We need a black cloak and wig not being donned and a Chief Justice to come out and say “hang on a minute” where acting like the justifiable executioners of family law.

    I’ll have to look up the word exatensal.

  19. Benjamin Easton says:

    I’m sure Scrap_the CSA meant the former as against the latter. However, credit where credit is due; someone surely has to
    ……..

    that Julie, comes to the site (I don’t know when she first subscribed, takes on a few challenges and ends up in no time at all building trusts and committees and the like, harnessing strengths from within the group to get us all motivated.

    Our vehicles of complaint are somewhat limited as I wrote previously trying to identify how a group, any citizen based group can have any formal (more commonly described as mainstream) effect. Scrap_ the_ CSA reasonably points out that time is a factor and to run around thinking there is an emergency where slow for pedantic change is a more proven methodology of effect, even if I do argue myself that this is the cause of our failure, that we are not prepared to face the issues by observation for its fact, grooming by paradigm, individualism to reach its philisophical necessity.

    So, I raise a new Point of Order, one that has not been discussed yet so far…

    “do men really care?”

  20. julie says:

    Benjamin,

    February last year is when I came. But besides that. The only reason you can see what I am doing is because I am doing the easy part.

    Scrap and Beven are 100% right to take this to parliament. Murray is doing a wonderful job at the FC issues and Jim Bagnall, well you will see. UOF is doing a gerat job and Pauls_news is too and so is CYFSwatch. And Viv and anyone else that I have failed to recognise here and now. And the father’s groups that are registered.

    I am not sure why you feel the need to be questioning if people care. Do not their actions speak volumes?

    Maybe you need to look at the work you do and have faith that others are doing the work they do well. (Very well)

    IMO these men are the best to do the job they are doing. And they are not slackers. You can put the whip away. lol

    Besides this, thank-you for complimenting me. Yet, you need to see the end result I do else my work is worth nothing. I really am not in the same league as the others. Yet, one day I will be.

    You do a great job working in parliament and challenging politicians. I always enjoy reading what was new especially when it is easy to understand.

  21. Kelvin D says:

    A late comment on Boshier’s comments concerning Judges wearing Gowns in the Family Court.

    All right minded people must be as appalled as me at the lack of intellectual rigour in Boshier’s argument. It is a jejune notion and he needs to be disabused of it as soon as possible. As a former self litigant in the biased and corrupt Family Court I would have great respect for a FC judge who wore a tutu or clown’s garb if he/she actually gave a reasoned, principled and fair decsision that truly reflected the welfare and best interests of our children! To try and legislate for respect and to enforce it through a piece of cloth is banal and shows exactly how out of touch Boshier and his cronies actually are! They are obviously keener on self aggrandisement than they are on dispensing justice. Next time I appear before an FC judge I will still carry with me the same level of contempt for them as individuals and the bench they sit on as I have had up to now. Wearing a gown will chgange nothing for me

  22. cb says:

    you should wear a ‘goofy’ costume for your ‘mickey mouse court’ Boshier, and i say this in all sincereness, you are just not chief family court judge material boshier.

  23. cb says:

    maybe, an SS uniform would be more appropriate, if his judges want to be taken seriously. Hey, why not throw in a gas chamber for us useless fathers while your at it.

  24. Hadi Akbari says:

    Hi cb, i totally agree, goofy costume for mickey mouse court, that is an awesome way of putting it

  25. whanga says:

    I have been cheated by and had my children`s interests abused by so many family caught Judges and legal workers it almost makes me cry.I have a suggestion for their costumes.Fire proof suits.They may as well get used to wearing them as they,every last one of them,will need these suits when they make their inevitable final journey to the underworld.There are at least 5 I can think of immediately who I would love to send there right away.How dooo these people sleep???

  26. Hadi Akbari says:

    Hi Whanga, that is true, these people are all going to hell where they belong, they are satans children and he sent them here but i know God wont accept evil into his kingdom, burn you ———- ———-

  27. Very informative post. I’ve found your blog via Yahoo and I’m really glad about the information you provide in your articles. Btw your blogs layout is really broken on the Chrome browser. Would be great if you could fix that. Anyhow keep up the good work!

  28. martins says:

    Maybe they would be taken more seriously if they dispensed some justice , that’s what courts should do isn’t it ?

  29. Carmelo Keel says:

    This unique write-up makes us recognize that we need to take alot more treatment of ourself and each other.

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