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Police Safety Orders

Judge Paul von Dadelszen was interviewed on National Radio Nine to Noon on Wednesday 11 June 2008 in his role as Acting Principal Family Court Judge. His confident, resonant voice made him an ideal replacement for his slick ad-man boss in progressing dangerous abuse by the state as if it were beneficial.

I thought it worthwhile to report on the learned judge’s statements and to offer some comment. It’s a long post but worth the effort to see how the system is thinking. The judge’s actual statements are in italics while my descriptions and comments are not.

1. His Honour began by emphasizing that the initiative for the new legislation came from the police, but the Principal and other Family Court judges were well pleased with it.

The fact it was pushed by police gives a clue as to the intended use of the proposed “safety orders”. The orders will be used routinely by police attending domestic call-outs to ensure they are not bothered again at the same address as the domestic couple continues their argument. Who cares that it is men who suffer for this convenience? Men have always been the expendable gender.

2. “There does need to be an ability … for victims of violence to have ready access to justice.”

But the police orders will only be given when there is no evidence enabling police to arrest and charge someone, i.e. there is no evidence that there is any victim of violence. Also, throwing men out on the street at short notice when there is no evidence they have committed a crime can hardly be called “justice”. Judge Boshier was previously criticized for displaying his own bias by using gender-specific terms in discussing domestic violence as if it were only ever committed by men, so it seems in this interview Judge von Dadelszen was careful to use the terms “victims” and “victims of violence” where he may have wanted to say “women”.

3. His Honour then informed that Family Court judges thought 72 hours might be too short, because that would not give those ordered a chance to challenge the order in Court! However, he added that there was no indication this right would be accorded in the new law anyway.

Interesting that the judges’ main concern (and the only one mentioned) focused on the ability of people to become their customers as part of the process. Surely they did not think that extending the duration of the orders would somehow better protect the rights of those ordered? One might as well claim that it’s better to whip a slave 20 times rather than 10 because that gives the slave more opportunity to plead for mercy.

4. “It comes from Australia and it’s working well over there as I understand it.”

Perhaps the judge has not kept up with widespread corruption that has accompanied increases in powers given to Australian police. And according to whom is it working well? No doubt the domestic violence industry and man-hating feminist groups like it very much. But I bet if the victims of such departures from fair treatment and justice were interviewed, i.e. men’s and fathers’ representatives, the judge’s understanding might have to change significantly.

5. “…the police have always had the power to remove the perpetrator of violence from the household if there are sufficient grounds to arrest …It may be that this additional weapon in their armoury will give greater protection to victims; that is certainly the hope.”

Yes, there are ample powers to deal with violent people. And, as many men have discovered when they are assaulted by their partners, police already have ample powers to side with the female offender, arrest the male victim and to charge him with some offence or another regardless. The additional “weapon” being requested by police will most likely stimulate more desperate and violent behaviour.

The existing protection order regime has never been properly evaluated to see if it actually protects people; instead there are reasonable calculations that it actually increases risk for applicants and has led to hundreds of suicides in respondents. The judge’s pious hope will almost certainly be found to be a false hope, but such false hopes are usually encouraged by state forces seeking to seize more power over the people at every opportunity.

6. Hon von Dadelszen then agreed that police, without evidence to make an arrest in domestic call-outs, will under the proposed legislation have to make judgment calls about relationship conflicts.

Guess how much training the attending police will have had enabling them to make such judgment calls? And guess what judgment the police will make 99.9% of the time about who should be evicted from their home and family?

7. “What one has to do … is to balance the interests of justice against the rights of victims.”

Incredible. Firstly, if no violence has been committed there is no victim, only two disputants in a domestic argument. There is no particular reason to favour the rights of one over the other. The judge almost certainly meant “women” when he said “victims”. More importantly, the judge implied that somehow a more just outcome can come from abandoning basic principles of justice. This creeping process started with the establishment of the Family Court and subsequent law especially the Domestic Violence Act (DVA).

As discovered by Robert Mugabe and perpetrators of injustice all over the world, they have to become more and more unjust and immoral to maintain their failed approach. After this particular brilliant plan is seen to fail because enraged men resort to real violence in response to the blatant wrongs done to them, what will the next step be? Perhaps simply to imprison men immediately whenever women request it. We’re not far from that now.

8. “… we are always concerned about the rights of victims and sometimes in appropriate cases the interests of justice have to give way to the rights of victims and the children.”

More of the same argument on false premises, attempting to justify further abandonment of longstanding planks of justice. If there is no evidence of violence then there is no evidence of a victim, but the judge begs the question by simply calling whomsoever is favoured by the police a victim. Again, the judge appears to substitute the word “victims” for “women”, so the phrase “women and children” becomes “victims and the children”. “Sometimes in appropriate cases” is blatantly misleading, clearly meaning “whenever women demand it or it suits the police”.

And what are the rights of children? To have their father thrown out on the street, treated as a violent offender when by definition he is not? To lose loving care from their father at the mother’s say-so because she was not getting her way? To have their father’s business and therefore their own financial welfare damaged because he has been ordered to stay away from his home office, computer and other resources? To see their father develop depression and other stress-related diseases? To be thrown into a loyalty conflict where any expression of sympathy for their father’s unjust treatment risks losing their mother’s affection? The rights of children? Yeah right.

9. “I would hope that if a criminal court is going to make a protection order it’s an interim one only which is then transferred to the Family Court to determine whether or not it should become final.”

The judge wants to ensure that his part of the industry gets its market share from this new business opportunity. Why not fleece the desperate victims of these orders as much as possible by requiring them to deal with two lots of bullies?

10. “… it will be very important for the criminal court … to consider the interests of children because that is one of the complaints which is sometimes legitimately made that where a protection order is in place children suffer because they lose contact with the person against whom the order is made. In some cases of course that is justified but by no means all of those cases.”

His Honour here rather minimizes the situation. Rather than “sometimes”, the vast majority of protection orders will damage father-child relationships unnecessarily with no reasonable evidence of any risk towards the children. Current feminist-based definitions of violence sees children as abused when they see or overhear their parents arguing; this is extrapolated from flimsy research findings that show children are perturbed by conflict between their parents but do not tell us whether in the long term that experience is to the detriment or benefit of their development.

I have seen cases where a psychologist has extended this to include cases where children don’t see or hear anything but “sense” that their mother has been upset by the father. And the father will routinely be seen as the abuser even though both parents contributed in good measure. Also, it’s unclear why the “criminal court” would be involved in these police-issued orders at all. Perhaps His Honour knows something we don’t about what this new legislation has in store. Surely, if there is any behaviour of interest to the criminal court then the police would arrest and prosecute rather than issuing an order that is designed for cases where there is not the evidence of any significant offending.

11. His Honour agreed that the criminal court and the police will now be able to bypass completely the longstanding right of the accused to face his accuser.

“Yes, that is right. It’s very difficult it seems to me for those of us on the outside of these situations to look into the minds of the victims and really understand how they feel about domestic violence, the kind of power and control issues that there are in those situations, and I have every sympathy for victims who, sometimes for very good reason indeed simply do not feel able to front up. Now that’s where, I think, the programmes which will be available will help; it’ll bring I would like to think a greater understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and assist victims in that respect.”

His Honour appears to have been well indoctrinated in seminars provided by the domestic violence industry. More begging the question about victimhood, more circular argument (an order was applied for therefore there was a victim therefore the order was applied for; and therefore the applicant should not have to be inconvenienced by proper cross-examination…), more substituting the word “victims” for “women”, and faithful parroting of the manufactured industry slogans “power and control issues” and “the dynamics of domestic violence” both of which concepts arose out of feminist ideological theory and neither of which are consistent with the findings of scientific research.

Further, there is no good evidence that the indoctrination programmes based on this ideology (i.e. those provided by the NZ domestic violence industry) are effective in reducing violence. Oh well, never mind.

12. When asked if he had any concerns about unintended consequences of the new law and how it might be used and/or abused, Judge von Dadelszen replied:

“… I don’t think it’s possible to say that in protecting victims and children one should put that second to the ability of the Courts to react and to … act in their favour and sometimes I’m afraid that does mean putting aside the interests of justice insofar as the perception of the respondent is concerned.”

Then, when challenged by the interviewer that the injustice here might be real rather than perceived, the judge in rather condescending tone replied:

“I suppose one can’t rule that out Kathryn”.

Unbelievable if it were not true. Again the phrase “victims and children” where by definition there are no victims, suggesting the word “victims” is used instead of “women” who are really the favoured ones here. Again, claiming that somehow the aim of favouring “victims” and children is higher than maintaining the interests of justice. (Although hard to believe, it’s happening right before our eyes; feminism has become so powerful that women’s interests are now being put above fundamental principles of justice. That’s exactly what’s happening here.) Again, minimizing the seriousness of this by implying that the resulting injustice to respondents (i.e. men) will merely be a perception. However, His Honour was then forced to admit that such proposed injustice will not only be seen to be done, it will be done.

13. (Talking about current protection orders under the DVA):

“…Respondents who are the subject of an order have to leave the home unless the applicant says they can stay, and in those circumstances they’ve simply got to find alternative accommodation, and I suspect in the vast majority of cases that’s not too difficult.”

How callous. Hasn’t he thought about what it is like to be thrown out of your home at short notice? What it is like to be prevented from use of most of what your own labour has earned, worrying about what is happening to your possessions? What it is like to be prevented from seeing and talking to your own children, knowing they are being punished by losing their father usually for no good reason?

Many men issued with protection orders live on friends’ and family’s couches, struggling to maintain their employment without adequate domestic facilities and whilst experiencing serious anxiety, anger and depression. Their partners are advised by lawyers to put a block on all bank accounts, so men are left almost penniless and also put through the stress of being unable to pay the mortgage and other bills they are often responsible for.

IRD quickly starts extracting so-called “child support” to ensure the partner’s lifestyle can be maintained, then the men face the legal costs of their desperate (and usually futile) efforts to remain involved in their children’s lives, so many simply do not have enough to afford decent accommodation. Many men commit suicide. Oh well, never mind, at least if the judge turns a blind eye to it all he won’t have to lose any sleep.

14. “I think that they (the changes) are needed and that the increase in domestic violence that there has undoubtedly been in recent times is a good indication of the importance of bringing into place the kinds of measures which the government has decided to bring in.”

Undoubtedly there have been many more complaints and allegations of domestic violence but that must largely be due to a redefining of such violence to cover the ways most normal people behave in a heated argument, and to extensive government-funded advertising campaigns that have hugely increased the market for industry providers. Interestingly, if there has been any increase in domestic violence this has occurred during the reign of our current protection order laws.

This outcome was predicted by many who thought carefully about the consequences of closing off the opportunity of conflicted (ex-) partners to resolve their arguments and/or to vent their strong feelings verbally, of preventing parents from protecting their own children and of subjecting citizens to injustices such as punishment without trial.

However, instead of acknowledging that the Domestic Violence Act is a failed approach, the industry thinks that by applying it even more extremely and with even greater injustice this will magically make it work. The government obliges and learned judges who should (and probably do) know better collude for whatever reason (could it be empire-building or simply political expediency?).

Also, His Honour seemed confident that the new draconian measures were already a certainty. So much for select committees and democratic process.

15. “There is a real problem with that (the Family Court’s ability to cope with the pressures) … The Principal Judge has spoken publicly about measures which are going to be taken to increase the efficiency of the Court. I do note that one of the provisions here is to require the Family Court to provide information as to why orders are not made on an emergency application. If judges are required to do that we are going to be really stretched because time has to be set aside to provide that information. I’m assuming by that we have to write a judgment and that will increase the pressure on us as judges … and we’ll simply have to find measures to find more time. If we don’t then it will take longer to get to hearing cases which need urgent attention.”

Sounds like more judges will be required and more money will have to be provided. Surprise, surprise.