Feminist Justice System Extends Well Beyond The Family Court
This was a rare case in which Family Court Judge Peter Callinicos challenged and brought about consequences against a woman for providing dishonest, conflicting claims and evidence in that arena of deceit. There seemed no doubt that the woman said things in Court that contradicted her sworn affidavits and that she lied at various times. The Family Court decided in favour of the ex-husband whom she had accused of all manner of depravity and violence. She was then prosecuted for perjury (something that needs to be done much more often in that den of fabrication), found guilty and sentenced for perjury although that conviction was overturned on appeal (we wonder what gender the Appeal Court judge was in that case…). Now High Court judge Rebecca Ellis has reversed the Family Court judgment on the basis that J Callinicos was wrong to conclude the woman had committed perjury and claimed that J Callinicos teamed up with the ex-husband’s lawyers in order to treat the woman unfairly. OMG, Family Court judges plus ‘lawyer for child’ team up with the woman’s lawyer in a majority of cases! Oh, and the ex-husband’s lawyers shouldn’t have asked probing or pejorative questions of the woman; of course, that’s only ok when done to men, huh?
J Callinicos was not in fact constrained by a robust standard of proof in reaching his determinations, only the ‘balance of probabilities’ standard. When that standard is conveniently (routinely and daily) used in the Family Court to determine that unsupported allegations by women against men are factual, that’s all good and the relevant judge is quite within his/her rights to do that. But when the same standard is a applied in a way that finds against a female litigant’s preference, a female High Court judge decides to condemn it after applying to the matter quite a different standard of proof.
While we would like to see the standard of proof improved for Family Court, the current rules still pertain at present and we don’t like to see this hypocrisy. We hope J Rebecca Ellis’ handiwork is challenged in another higher Court. For example, there would need to be robust evidence that J Callinicos ‘teamed up’ with the ex-husband’s lawyers. Is this a case of the women in our system teaming up when Family Court decisions don’t suit their sisterhood?