Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Where the Pell Judgment Went Fatally Wrong

A short introduction to a long article below.  One cannot read the whole article without concluding that two of the appeal judges were biased agaist Pell

John Finnis

Anyone tempted to believe George Pell did what he was convicted of doing should read first the majority judgment of the Court of Appeal majority (“Judgment”), next the fuller transcript of the complainant’s allegations that is given in paras. 415-55  of the dissenting judgment (“Dissent”), and then the Wikipedia account (with numerous links) of Operation Midland. 

If you take this short tour, you will see the Judgment fall apart under your eyes.  The Judgment’s sequencing (Falsity, Improbability, Impossibility) reverses the rational order of treatment.  Its handling of Archbishop Pell’s alibi defence concludes abruptly in para. 143 by placing the onus of proof exactly where the law quoted in para. 142 says it cannot be: on the defence.  Its construction of a five or six minute window of opportunity for the Archbishop to commit singularly vile offences against two thirteen-year-old boys, in the Priests’ Sacristy, has a similar incoherence thinly veiled behind an “of course” and an evasive “taking the evidence as a whole”.

A brief account of those three ways the 352-paragraph Judgment goes wrong will indicate how the jury’s one-word verdicts could be as wrong as one should conclude they were.

Of course, there is another secure route to that conclusion: read the Dissent.  It brings to light many other reasons to reject the complainant’s allegations.  But it is long and winding.  Here, then, is one shorter route.

John Finnis AC QC is professor emeritus at Oxford University, having been Professor of Law and Legal Philosophy from 1989 to 2010.


Most back kicking out asylum-seekers who aren’t refugees

Most Australians believe that asylum-seekers deemed not to be genuine refugees should be deported regardless of other considerations.

A Newspoll survey conducted last week showed 64 per cent of voters believe asylum-seekers who are considered by the courts to not be refugees should be deported, with 24 per cent saying they should be allowed to settle in Australia.

Following publicity last week surrounding the case of a Sri Lankan Tamil family facing deportation, the Newspoll survey showed 56 per cent of Labor voters supported deportation of asylum-seekers found to not be refugees, with 31 per cent saying they should be allowed to stay in Australia.

The poll, based on 1000 interviews with voters across the nation from September 5-7, reveals stronger support for deportation in the 35-years-plus age groups, with more men than women agreeing asylum-seekers ineligible for refugee status should not be allowed to stay.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese last week led a push to allow Nadesalingam “Nades” Murugappan and Kokilapathmapriya “Priya” Nadarasa to stay in the country.

The couple, who settled in Biloela on bridging visas and whose daughters, Kopika and Tharunicaa, were born in Australia, arrived from Sri Lanka on boats in 2012 and 2013. The High Court dismissed their bids for appeal after being deemed to not be refugees. Their eldest daughter, Kopika, was also considered to not be a refugee. The family, who lived in the central Queensland town for more than three years, have been moved to Christmas Island awaiting the outcome of a legal case for Tharunicaa. The final legal bid will return to the Federal Court on September 18. That case is centred on whether the youngest daughter is eligible for protection.

According to Newspoll, there is a split in the sentiment of younger Australians aged 18-34, with 50 per cent agreeing that asylum-seekers deemed to not be refugees should be deported, and 40 per cent declaring they should remain in the country. Overall, 12 per cent of voters remain uncommitted on the issue of how the government should respond to asylum-seekers who are regarded as non-refugees by the courts.

Among Coalition voters, 73 per cent supported deportation and 16 per cent opposed it. Moderate Liberal MP Russell Broadbent said on Monday the Tamil family shouldn’t be treated differently to other similar asylum-seeker cases and urged against intervention.

On Sunday, Labor frontbencher Tony Burke, a former immigration minister, said he had “exercised ministerial discretion”. “You don’t only exercise ministerial discretion for issues of compassion, you also exercise ministerial discretion for issues of national interest,” he said.

Labor came under fire last week over its intervention in the case, with the government accusing it of opening the door to other failed asylum cases.


Uni’s transgender ‘censor bid stifling free speech’

A Deakin University student club says it has been censored over ­ social­ media posts criticising gender­ ideology and a new Victorian­ law that makes it easier for trans­gender people to alter their birth certificates.

Members of the Deakin University Liberal Club have accused the university’s student association of curtailing free speech after it requested they delete Facebook posts deemed to be a breach of its social media policy.

One of the posts, from the Liberal­ club’s Geelong branch last month, referred to the Victorian government passing of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill as failing to “stack up with scientific fact”.

The post included a quote from George Orwell’s 1984 and linked to a news report in The Age.

Another allegedly offending post contained a short video titled “There Are Only Two Genders” by US author Ashley McGuire, which challenges gender ideology and the increasingly popular push for self-identified gender to supersede biological sex.

The club opted to remove the posts after being threatened with disciplinary action.

However, the Deakin University Liberal Club at the Burwood campus has declined to delete an August 31 post in which it wrote about meeting Liberal MPs at Victoria­’s Parliament House.

“Fantastic conversations were had particularly about the dis­as­trous births, deaths and marriages registration bill, allowing people to change the sex recorded on their birth certificate on a 12-month basis simply through self-selection,” the post said.

While the new law and its potenti­al consequences have been the subject of widespread public debate, the club was contacted by the Deakin University Student Association on Tuesday advising that the post had sparked complaints and requesting its removal.

“The post has been deemed in breach of DUSA’s social media policy,” wrote DUSA clubs support­ officer Sophie Elizabeth.

While no specific reason was provided, Ms Elizabeth referred to a clause within the policy that states “examples of unacceptable social media conduct include posting commentary, content or images that are defamatory, porno­graphic, proprietary, harass­ing … or that can create a hostile environment”.

Deakin University Liberal Club Burwood president Luke Dalle Nogare described the ­association’s censorship bid as “frivolous and arrogant”.

“There aren’t many conservative views on campus, so it’s ­important for us to be strong and represent those voices,” he said.

“Sure it’s a somewhat contentious issue but we’re not making any extremist views in any sense.”

Liberal senator James Paterson described the student association’s actions as an “outrageous attempt at censorship”.

“Topical public policy issues on which good people can disagree surely must be free for university students to debate on campus and on social media,” he said.


From changing Australia's constitution to boycotting the national anthem: How rugby league has been hijacked by social do-gooders pushing political causes that have nothing to do with the game - and why fans are furious

Rugby league football was once a straight-forward game which sprang from humble roots to provide entertainment for legions of largely working class supporters.

But in the past couple of years its governing body has alienated many of those loyal fans as it pushes itself into political debates which have nothing to do with the sport.

The NRL has campaigned for same-sex marriage, called for recognition of Aborigines in the Constitution and backed indigenous players who do not want to sing the national anthem.

Critics say instead of attending to grassroots needs like promoting bush rugby league, the NRL is spending too much time, energy and money forcing their left-wing views onto others.

Former federal Labor leader and rugby league follower Mark Latham reckons the NRL should stick to running a football competition and stay out of divisive social issues.

Mr Latham said the game's fans were not consulted before the NRL chose to publicly support any of these causes.

'I just think it's a disaster for the fans,' Mr Latham told Daily Mail Australia. 'Where's all that come from? No one goes to the footy for any of these things. 'In fact, people go to the footy to get away from arguments about religion and politics and virtue signalling. They go to watch sport.'

Mr Latham has also asked how the NRL can stand down players yet to be found guilty of criminal offences then ban Israel Folau from returning to the code for quoting the Bible.

Few within rugby league will openly criticise the NRL's obsession with taking on social issues unrelated to football.

Former Knights five-eighth turned commentator Matthew Johns won't even let loose his footy dinosaur alter-ego Reg Reagan any more.

In these times of heightened sensitivity and political correctness Johns has retired the character who famously wanted to 'Bring back the biff'.

While the NRL is happy to publicly hitch itself to controversial causes it would not respond to criticism it was unduly politicising sport.

The NSW One Nation leader has aimed much of his criticism of the game's political posturing at Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman and former Queensland Labor premier Peter Beattie.

'It used to be footy and now it's a sub-branch for the Labor Party and the Greens under Peter Beattie,' Mr Latham said. 'He should stay right out of the politics.

'They've campaigned for same sex marriage - that's got nothing to do with footy. 'They're campaigning for the Uluru statement - that's got nothing to do with footy.

'Peter Beattie's lost perspective. He still thinks he's premier of Queensland.'

Broadcaster Alan Jones, who coached Balmain and was manager of football operations at Souths after guiding the Wallabies for four years, agreed.

'Who's he speaking for?' Jones recently asked about Mr Beattie. 'What mandate does he have to even speak on it?'

Mr Beattie has said: 'Any game has to have tolerance of the different points of view, and rugby league has demonstrated that with what we did with our grand final in 2017.' 'We're about being inclusive and tolerant, and we believe in that strongly. That's the future of any game.'

But there was no tolerating of Israel Folau

Israel Folau, who played rugby league for Australia before his conversion to union, was banned from returning to the NRL after posting a Bible quote on social media stating unrepentant homosexuals would go to hell.

Mr Latham compared the NRL's treatment of Folau with the fate of players who do stupid things while intoxicated or commit criminal offences. 'The bloke who quotes the Bible is banned,' he said.

'Players can have all sorts of drug scandals and sex with dogs - simulated sex with dogs - all of these sorts of scandals and be a State of Origin hero a couple of years later.'


Fear and loathing left at the door for Lionel Shriver’s ‘love story’

She rejects identity politics

Nobody walked out. That was the happiest thing about the talk by Lionel Shriver, hosted by independent bookshop Bookoccino in beachside Avalon, north of Sydney, last Sunday.

The room was bright, the seats comfortable, and Shriver no doubt made points with which some people disagreed, but that was fine. Nobody got all bristly and huffy. Nobody walked out.

Shriver was asked, of course, about cultural appropriation, identity politics, all that, but she was also asked about love.

Here’s some of what she said about the former (we’ll get to the latter, don’t worry).

“According to this way of thinking,” Shriver said, “my identity is being white. And, you know, that just doesn’t do anything for me. And if I were to go around saying: well, you know, the most important thing about myself is that I’m white, what would you think? I hope you’d think rather ill of me. And I feel that way about all the other races: I do not believe race, or gender, or sexual proclivity is an identity of any sort.

“And that’s why it’s been interesting to watch the lesbian and gay movement over the past several decades really mature because there was a period when, as a liberation movement, it was just getting started, and it seemed very clear that being gay was enough. It was an identity for a lot of people who are gay. That’s what they were, they were gay. And in its maturity, you don’t see that any more.

“Gay or lesbian people themselves, you know, they’re interested in individual people. They want to be with individual people who have interests other than being gay. And that’s my idea of identity — it’s something that is constantly evolving. It is a lifelong project. And it encompasses everything about you. It may have elements of what you were born into, and you didn’t have any choice about, but that’s just to start.

“I mean, for example, yes, I was born female. But that doesn’t do anything for me. I make a kind of crap girl. I live with it! But I’m not that interested in feminist causes. I guess I still call myself a feminist. I mean, what’s the alternative? But I don’t believe that the self necessarily has gender, and I hope you know what I mean. That the real core of you, your sense of self, I don’t think it has a gender. I don’t think it has a race.

“To me, identity means that sense of yourself in a room by yourself, and then those things that you accumulate along the way: what you care about; what you don’t, which can be just as important; whom you love. And that, to me, that’s identity. And that’s interesting.

“Character is interesting. And the way we change, and refine ourselves or sometimes slip backwards, that’s just fascinating. So I resist the whole notion that what defines us are these groups we were born members of. I find that a grim, flat, ugly way of looking at the world.”

The crowd seemed to like all that. There was a good smattering of applause. And it’s all the more interesting because you know she’s a Democrat, right? She said so, meaning you can’t put her in that box that says: conservative. Cold right wing. She’s a Democrat who loathes the current President — “Trump is immoral,” she said, “and he’s an idiot. I really mean that: his IQ is medically low” — so there can be no dismissing her as being of a particular tribe. People are complex! I think that was her point.

Anyway, Shriver was also asked about the genesis of her “sliding doors” book — The Post-Birthday World — and she answered rather frankly.

It came from life.

To her great surprise, Shriver many years ago found herself in a relationship and at the same time falling in love with somebody else. She couldn’t decide what to do. She didn’t want to hurt the first man — he was a good man — but she was falling hard for the second.

“But this is a very commonplace experience, being with somebody, and you think you’re going to be with them forever, and then you get hit broadside, you know?” she said.

“And it’s like, I didn’t ask for this. And this is supposed to be wonderful, and it’s terrible at the same time. And it was natural for me to do what we all do, and start figuring out what my future would be like, with each of these men. We do that with a lot of things, like with a job offer. And falling in love is in some ways a job offer! And that’s why I chose that structure.”

The book’s first chapter ends with the possibility of a kiss (a really good and most welcome kiss) and the protagonist has a choice: if she kisses this guy, she’ll end up with him; if she doesn’t, she’ll end up with the other guy, and either way, you can find out how life proceeds by reading on.

“It’s a playful book, but it’s also a very serious book,” Shriver said. “It’s really about the most classic topic in fiction, which is love.”

And do you know what then happened, not in the chapters that followed, but on the night? That book became her bestseller. Because of course it did! Because if there’s one landscape we’ve all traversed, it’s that of the broken heart; and if there’s one language we all share, it’s surely that of love.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 comment:

Paul said...

"Most Australians believe that asylum-seekers deemed not to be genuine refugees should be deported regardless of other considerations."

In other news, most people support the principle of rule-of-law. Gee, imagine my surprise.