Tuesday, May 29, 2007

State of World's Children 2007 ( UNICEF)

Here's an article on the "State of the World’s Children 2007" a report
published by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

This article was published in the Go Between (Newsletter)
This is the UN's Non-Governmental Liaison Service's (NGLS) flagship
newsletter that provides system-wide information on the activities of
the United Nations in development and human rights etc, on UN-NGO
cooperation, and on NGO activities on key issues on the UN agenda. It
is published six times each year and distributed in hard copy to some
6,000 NGOs and 1,000 members of the international community worldwide.

The actual report is available online:


State of the World’s Children 2007
Women and Children: The Double Dividend of Gender Equality

The State of the World’s Children 2007 examines the discrimination and
disempowerment women face throughout their lives—and outlines what must
be done to eliminate gender discrimination and empower women and girls.
It looks at the status of women today, discusses how gender equality
will move all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) forward, and
shows how investment in women’s rights will ultimately produce a double
dividend: advancing the rights of both women and children.

According to a report by the United Nations Children’s
Fund (UNICEF), eliminating gender discrimination and
empowering women will have a profound and positive
impact on the survival and wellbeing of children. The
State of the World’s Children 2007--Women and Children:
The Double Dividend of Gender Equality was issued on
UNICEF’s 60th anniversary.

Gender equality produces the “double dividend” of
benefiting both women and children and is pivotal to the
health and development of families, communities and
nations, the repor t finds. “Gender equality and the
wellbeing of children are inextricably linked,” said UNICEF
Executive Director Ann M. Veneman. “When women are
empowered to lead full and productive lives, children and
families prosper.”

The report notes that eliminating gender discrimination
and empowering women will require enhancing women’s
influence in three distinct arenas: the household, the
workplace and the political sphere. A change for the
better in any one of these realms influences women’s
equality in the others and has a profound and positive
impact on children everywhere.

However, despite progress in women’s status in recent
decades, the lives of millions of girls and women are
overshadowed by discrimination, disempowerment and
poverty. Girls and women are disproportionately affected
by HIV/AIDS and women in most places earn less than
men for equal work. Millions of women throughout the
world are subject to physical and sexual violence, with
little recourse to justice. As a result of discrimination,
girls are less likely to attend school.

The report finds that women do not always have an equal
say in crucial household decisions, which can have
negative consequences for children. In only 10 of 30
developing countries surveyed did 50% or more of women
participate in all household decisions, including those
regarding major household spending, their own health
care or their visits to friends or relatives outside the

Women’s ability to control their own lives and make
decisions that affect their families is closely linked to
child nutrition, health and education, the report states. In
families where women are key decision makers, the
proportion of resources devoted to children is far greater
than those in which women have a less decisive role.
A study by the International Food Policy Research Institute
found that if men and women had equal influence in
decision making, the incidence of underweight children
under three years old in South Asia would fall by up to 13
percentage points, resulting in 13.4 million fewer
undernourished children in the region. In sub-Saharan
Africa, an additional 1.7 million children would be
adequately nourished.

The report notes that while there has been great progress
in recent decades in engaging women in the labour force,
there has been considerably less advance on improving
the conditions under which they work, recognizing their
unpaid work, eliminating discriminator y practices and
laws related to proper ty and inheritance rights, and
providing for support for childcare. The report suggests
that governments should undertake legislative, financial
and administrative measures to create a strong and
enabling environment for women’s entrepreneurship and
participation in the labour market. Social policies should
be promoted to tackle discrimination in the workplace and
to enable women and men to reconcile their work and
family responsibilities.

The report also suggests that increasing women’s
participation in politics is vital to promote gender equality,
empower women and fulfil children’s rights. The
remaining formal entry barriers must be dismantled, and
women encouraged and supported by political parties to
stand for office.

Gender initiatives also need the involvement and support
of men, especially male parliamentarians and political
leaders. Better data and research are required to fully
assess the impact of women legislators on policies
related to children.

The report is available online:
Contact: UNICEF, 3 UN Plaza, New York NY 10017, USA,
telephone +1-212/824 6648, fax +1-212/303 7992,
website (www.unicef.org).

Monday, May 28, 2007

Good cops join growing call for Royal Commission

Good cops join growing call for Royal Commission

Investigate editor Ian Wishart says an embarrassing media stunt has backfired on police and the government with this afternoon’s admission by the Police Complaints Authority that it has no power to investigate serious allegations of police corruption.

Both Police Commissioner Howard Broad and Police Minister Annette King had made much of Broad’s decision to ask the PCA to investigate the issues raised by Investigate magazine two weeks ago.

But Investigate’s editor says the PCA refusal to investigate shows the Police were only going through the motions and didn’t even bother to dot the i’s and cross the t’s to ensure an investigation actually took place.

“Best case scenario is that Police National Headquarters are simply incompetent and incapable of laying a functional complaint with the PCA. Worst case scenario is that PNHQ is corrupt as charged, and simply undertook the ‘referral’ to the PCA as a media publicity stunt to make it look like something was being done, in which case that stunt has now backfired embarrassingly on both police and their Minister,” says Wishart.

“If you read the PCA decision carefully, you’ll see they acknowledge the allegations are ‘serious’ and that they span a 15 year time period. Very pointedly the PCA then says the relevant Act of Parliament does not give the PCA the functions of a Commission of Inquiry. That’s a clear signal that Lowell Goddard probably believes a Royal Commission is the best course of action as well. She didn’t even have to mention it.

“Since the story broke in the latest Investigate magazine, we’ve been deluged with documents and information from current and former police telling us we’re right on target and telling us where to find more evidence.

“Good cops want this corrupt stranglehold over their profession broken, and that’s something Police Association spokesman Greg O’Connor should think about before he opens his mouth again.

“The PCA says that the only way of bringing the matters under PCA jurisdiction would be for the Police Commissioner to first launch an internal investigation into himself and his colleagues – a suggestion laughable because of the blatant conflicts of interest involved,” says Wishart.

Police National Headquarters now unsurprisingly says it has no intentions of starting its own investigation, leaving a Commission of Inquiry the only option.

“Only residents of a banana republic would be comfortably reassured by today’s developments," said Wishart.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Exposing the anti-male myth - Bettina Arndt

Exposing the anti-male myth - Bettina Arndt article


Exposing the anti-male myth
Bettina Arndt
May 25, 2007 12:00am

WHEN Erin Pizzey was a small girl she pleaded for help from a teacher, blood running down her legs from a whipping her mother had given her.
Her plea was dismissed. No one would believe such violence was possible in this rich, glamorous diplomat's family.
That was 60 years ago.
In 1971, Pizzey launched one of Britain's first women's refuges but became disenchanted when the refuge movement was hijacked by women promoting anti-male agendas.
Since then, she has been fighting a mighty battle to expose the truth about family violence: namely that girls and boys, who are exposed to violence in early childhood, can grow up to repeat what they have learnt.
She has written about her own experiences; her 193cm father was a bully but it was her beautiful, 144cm mother who terrorised and battered her family.
She's written books and articles exposing the anti-male myths being propagated about domestic violence, documenting research that shows domestic violence is often reciprocal, with men and women locked into destructive behaviour.
As she explained in her radio interview with Dads on the Air this week it made her unpopular with British feminists who had turned domestic violence into a million dollar industry. She received death threats and was heckled while speaking publicly in the UK and US.
Yet, she continues to speak out about the failure to recognise that women can be equally complicit in such violence.
It's not in our interests she says, for women to be continually taught they are victims.
Pizzey takes a swipe at Australia's Violence Against Women campaigns, which show a never-ending parade of violent men. There is never a hint that men are sometimes victims.
"It's a terrible lie," says Pizzey, who has written extensively about women who behave as "emotional terrorists".
The whims and actions of such women determine the emotional climate of the household.
Pizzey makes the telling point that marital dissolution can "call to the fore the terrorist's destructiveness", mentioning the women who make false allegations of violence or sexual abuse, or simply cut dad out of the lives of children.
This month, an important step towards a more balanced debate was made with the publication of Allegations of Family Violence and Child Abuse in Family Law Children's Proceedings.
The report was produced by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. It examined 399 cases and found most involved allegations of violence, often from both sides.
In these circumstances, where unsubstantiated allegations fly in both directions, it's just too hard for judges to see the wood for the trees, suggest the AIFS researchers.
They found it was rare for judgments to deny contact on the basis of such allegations.
The report is critical of Australian research on violence in Family Court matters.
The report shows much of this research relies on small, carefully selected samples to draw misleading conclusions about male violence.
This blinkered research "rarely concedes the possibility that at least some of the violence may be situational, one-off, reciprocated, or even at times initiated by women," says the AIFS report.
How refreshing to see AIFS research acknowledge that there's a very real difference between the situational violence common in marital separation, with both parties doing things they later regret, and the more systemic controlling violence where the males are almost always the perpetrator.
In the latter case, court intervention is often necessary to protect children and mothers from these dangerous men. The challenge is a court system that can properly identify them.
But what's needed with situational violence is for men and women to be helped to calm down and look carefully at the impact of their behaviour, particularly on their children.
Child-centred mediation in the Family Relationships Centres is helping people learn to stop the violence, unlike court processes, which often serve to escalate it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Women MP goes in to bat for the blokes

Woman MP goes in to bat for the blokes
NZPA | Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Men need an advocate in government and the current set up is "inherently sexist whatever way you look at it," says United Future MP Judy Turner.

"This Government is so blinkered by its socialist-feminist ideology that it either hasn't noticed or doesn't care about the myriad of issues challenging New Zealand blokes," she said yesterday.

"Men need an advocate in government as well as women. The Government should start advocating for either gender wherever barriers exist."

Ms Turner said it was high time Parliament recognised the inherent injustice of having a Ministry of Women's Affairs, which looked at issues solely from a female perspective, when there was no equivalent for men.

"Boys are falling further behind in education. Men die years earlier, and commit suicide in far greater numbers.

"Far more men turn to drug abuse. They are more often the perpetrators and also the victims of violent crime."

Ms Turner said fathers were continually failed by the Family Court and alienated from their children.

She quoted remarks by Massey University Pro Vice-Chancellor in education, James Chapman, who suggested the drive to find equal opportunities for women had gone too far and there was a need to restore a balance.

His remarks followed a graduation ceremony in which only 15 of the 158 graduates were men.

"The Ministry of Women's Affairs is horrified by the lack of women sitting on company boards," she said.

"It demands far more women in modern apprenticeships. But when more than 99 per cent of preschool teachers are women, and more than 80 per cent of primary school teachers are female, everyone is silent."

Saturday, May 19, 2007

USA - Jury Trials Becoming Extinct

J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California May 19, 2007
The Battle Lines are Drawn: J.A.I.L. versus The Foreign Power
A Power Foreign to Our Constitution


Mission Statement JNJ Library Federal J.A.I.L.
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Jury Trials Becoming Extinct
Another constitutional guarantee disappearing
by a power foreign to our Constitution!
Cases Keep Flowing In, But The Jury Pool Is Idle
by Adam Liptak
The New York Times

Trials are on the verge of extinction. They have been replaced by settlements and plea deals, by mediations and arbitrations and by decisions from judges based only on lawyers' written submissions.

Federal courts conducted about 3,600 trials in civil cases last year, down from 5,800 in 1962. That is not an enormous drop— until you consider that the number of cases has quintupled in the meantime.

In percentage terms, only 1.3 percent of federal civil cases ended in trials last year, down from 11.5 percent in 1962.

The trends in criminal cases and in the state courts are broadly similar, though not always quite as striking. But it is beyond dispute that even as the number of lawyers has grown twice as fast as the population and even as the number of lawsuits has exploded, actual trials have become quite rare.

Instead of hearing testimony, ruling on objections and instructing jurors on the law, judges spend most of their time supervising the exchange of information, deciding pretrial motions and dealing with settlements and plea bargains.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with settlements, at least when they are the product of reasoned and sensible compromise between evenly matched adversaries. But trials are not disappearing simply because more cases are being settled. Instead, they are increasingly being replaced by summary judgments, in which judges evaluate evidence submitted to them on paper.

''During the last years of the 20th century, summary judgment in the federal courts moved from a small fraction of dispositions by trial to a magnitude several times greater than the number of trials,'' Marc Galanter, who teaches law at the University of Wisconsin and the London School of Economics and Political Science, wrote last year in The Journal of Dispute Resolution.

Professor Galanter elaborated in an interview. ''Summary judgments are being asked for in about 17 percent of cases and granted in about 9 percent,'' he said, citing recent data from the Federal Judicial Center. That is a big jump from 1960, when no more than 1.8 percent of federal civil cases ended in summary judgment, according to data from the administrative office of the federal courts analyzed in a 1961 law review article.

''We've moved in a way to a more European way of decision-making, by looking at the court file rather than through encounters with living witnesses whose testimony is tested by cross-examination,'' Professor Galanter said.

In criminal cases, the vast majority of prosecutions end in plea bargains. In an article called ''Vanishing Trials, Vanishing Juries, Vanishing Constitution'' in the Suffolk University Law Review last year, a federal judge questioned the fairness of the choices confronting many criminal defendants.

Those who have the temerity to ''request the jury trial guaranteed them under the U.S. Constitution,'' wrote the judge, William G. Young of the Federal District Court in Boston, face ''savage sentences'' that can be five times as long as those meted out to defendants who plead guilty and cooperate with the government.

The movement away from jury trials is not just a societal reallocation of resources or a policy choice. Rather, as Judge Young put it, it represents a disavowal of ''the most stunning and successful experiment in direct popular sovereignty in all history.''

Indeed, juries were central to the framers of the Constitution, who guaranteed the right to a jury trial in criminal cases, and to the drafters of the Bill of Rights, who referred to juries in the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Amendments. Jury trials may be expensive and time-consuming, but the jury, local and populist, is a counterweight to central authority and is as important an element in the constitutional balance as the two houses of Congress, the three branches of government and the federal system itself.

In an article titled ''Why Summary Judgment Is Unconstitutional,'' published last month in the Virginia Law Review, Suja A. Thomas, a law professor at the University of Cincinnati, makes the perfectly plausible argument that the procedure violates the Seventh Amendment, which reserves the job of determining the facts in civil cases to juries.

When judges decide summary judgment motions, Professor Thomas wrote, they intrude on that job. The theory of summary judgment is that judges may rule for one side or the other only after finding that no ''genuine'' issues of ''material'' fact are in dispute. They must determine, as the Supreme Court has put it, whether ''a reasonable jury could return a verdict'' for the party defending against a motion for summary judgment.

All of that pushes judges right up to and sometimes across the constitutional line of determining the facts for themselves.

In 2004, in the process of revitalizing the role of the jury in criminal cases, Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court wrote that there were good arguments for ''leaving justice entirely in the hands of professionals.'' But that is not the theory of the Constitution, he continued, which enshrined ''the common-law ideal of limited state power accomplished by strict division of authority between judge and jury.''

The jury trial is a distinctively American tradition in a cultural sense, too. Almost all civil jury trials in the world take place here, and 90 percent of the criminal ones. But that tradition, which Prof. Paul Butler of George Washington University calls ''as fundamental a part of our culture as jazz or rock 'n' roll,'' is dying.

I was on jury duty last week, in a state criminal court in Manhattan. During the orientation on Wednesday, a court officer, with mixed pride and hyperbole, said his was the busiest courthouse in America.

I never saw so much as the inside of a courtroom. After a couple of days of milling around in an assembly room with more than 100 other potential jurors, the State of New York thanked us for our service and sent us home.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

For a current example of the deprivation of jury trials, see

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He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation. - Declaration of Independence

"..it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.." - Samuel Adams

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Project to probe convictions ?

Friday, 18 May 2007

Project to probe convictions
A United States-style innocence project aimed at overturning the wrongful convictions of New Zealanders has been established at Victoria University hot on the heels of David Bain having five murder convictions quashed.

Bain was freed on bail from prison into a media frenzy on Tuesday, five days after the Privy Council said he had suffered a substantial miscarriage of justice. The Solicitor-General has yet to decide whether Bain will face a retrial for the 1994 deaths of his three siblings and parents in their Dunedin home.
Victoria University Innocence Project director Dr Maryanne Garry said her team aimed to examine and prevent miscarriages of justice.

Bain, jailed at 23, had spent 12 years behind bars for murders he insisted he did not commit.

Following the lead of a New York project which has seen 200 Americans exonerated, New Zealand's Innocence Project will draw on psychological, legal and scientific expertise to probe criminal convictions.

Dr Mark Gerrie, a recent Victoria Psychology School PhD graduate, has been appointed to establish and run the school for two years with a $200,000 university grant, alongside Garry and Otago University Professor Harlene Hayne.

Gerrie started work this month and said the timing of the project's launch, on Bain's first full day of freedom, was coincidental.

Gerrie said Bain's case could be the "tip of the iceberg" in terms of miscarriages of justice in the New Zealand legal system.

Wrongful convictions were a "substantial concern" in New Zealand, he said. "They are substantial, in that they are likely."

Gerrie said Victoria's School of Psychology was a natural home for an innocence project as the leading cause of wrongful conviction was eyewitness misidentification. This was an area in which psychologists held expert knowledge, particularly around witness interviewing and memory recollection.

All cases referred to the project by lawyers or family would be screened and those taken on would be investigated free of charge.

Gerrie would not say what cases his team was eyeing up, but he did say project adviser Lynley Hood's pet project, the case of Christchurch Creche worker Peter Ellis about which she wrote an award-winning book, was too far advanced.

Other than Hood, the project's advisory board would include leading DNA expert Professor William Thompson and world authority on eyewitness accounts Professor Elizabeth Loftus, both from the University of California, Professor Jacqueline McMurthrie from the Washington University Law School, and various academics from Victoria and Otago universities who specialised in areas such as interviewing techniques for children and memory trace evidence.

Prominent lawyers Greg King and John Rowan, QC, would also support the project.

Gerrie said he hoped to tap the investigative expertise of New Zealand journalists. . –Dominion Post



Several of New Zealand's top judges are suffering personal debt pressures despite earning hundreds of thousands of dollars salary per year. The risk that these pressures pose upon the Court they serve - and for a society reliant upon fair and equitable administration of justice - has become a serious concern that is being increasingly raised in private legal circles. There are a number of reasons for this that will be detailed shortly but it should first be stated that no case has yet publicly surfaced of a judge issuing a ruling for his or her obvious financial gain. Nonetheless, the concern is very real. This concern is reinforced by formal complaints recently made against at least a couple judges for failing to disclose they had a conflict of interest in cases they ruled on. In two such cases that Kiwisfirst became aware of, the complaints were straightaway rejected by the Head of the Bench as not worthy of investigation.

Many make the commonsense argument that relying on the Head of the Bench to expose impropriety occurring in his Court is a fundamentally flawed method of oversight. In 2004, the Labour government agreed. It passed the Judicial Conduct Panel Act 2004 setting up the Office of the Judicial Conduct Commissioner (JCC) with the expressed purpose of investigating complaints of misconduct against judges and recommending appointment of a Judicial Conduct Panel to independently investigate complaints where the JCC's preliminary investigation identifies a prima facie case exists. One major problem is the Commissioner is a practicing New Zealand lawyer.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, despite the JCC's mandate, not one of the 178 written complaints received so far has been deemed worthy of a recommendation for a Panel investigation. The argument then is whether the oversight is genuine or, alternatively, necessary. As one lawyer who wished to remain anonymous said, "It is difficult to argue this is meaningful oversight. But perhaps we can take comfort that all our judges are infallible."

It must be noted that this was a difficult story to investigate given the palpable fear that permeates the legal profession on this issue. More than a couple lawyers said judicial misconduct is a non-issue; it simply doesn't occur. No lawyer would discuss judicial misconduct over the phone and most behaved as if the reporter had violated an unwritten rule in speaking the unspeakable. But then, this is actually more than an unwritten rule. Few members of the public realize that every lawyer in New Zealand has sworn an oath that they will put the interests of the Court ahead of even their clients. And this is one oath that the Courts and the Law Society stringently enforce. It is euphemistically referred to as 'maintaining the dignity and honour of the profession' and any lawyer who is perceived to have spoken or provided any information that undermines the Court or a judge's authority can lose their law license, regardless of the accuracy of the information. Consequently, no lawyer would go on the record for this story. The information herein is compiled from a number of sources.

What do judges earn and how could their debts adversely affect their rulings?
In all, New Zealand has close to 200 full-time judges. New Zealand's 130+ District Court judges make $243,000 per year, High Court judges make $309,000, Chief High Court Justice Tony Randerson makes $343,000 and Court of Appeal judges are paid $325,000 per year. At the highest level, Supreme Court judges make $348,000 annually and Chief Justice Sian Elias receives $372,000. While this is a lot of money, judges generally live a much different lifestyle than the ordinary New Zealander. Their lifestyles often include first class travel, frequent overseas travel, five star hotels, expensive works of art, luxury holiday homes and automobiles, private schools for their children, domestic employees, $1,200 suits, $200 bottles of wine and all the other accoutrements deemed fitting of their high social status. When you consider that judges fall into the 39% tax bracket and must fund their lifestyles with after tax dollars, it is not difficult to see how even judges making over $300,000 per year can get overextended financially. The main difference is that, unlike the average Kiwi who gets into debt over his head, judges have people more than willing to help the judges out financially, from the banker who offers them below market mortgages to the former business partners who provide everything from paid holidays to paid staff.

There is also the fact that judges are lawyers who have spent their adult lives manipulating the legal system on behalf of their clients (their profession actually trains them to not get hung up on moral issues of right and wrong), and now find themselves in positions of unprecedented power where they are virtually unaccountable for their actions, it is easy to imagine judges falling victim to their basest desires. This is particularly the case in times of personal financial stress. This danger is all the more pronounced in New Zealand given the unwarranted belief promoted by the judiciary that, because New Zealand is such a small country of only 4 million people, it is unreasonable to expect a judge to not have past ties to litigants and lawyers who appear before him or her. It is this last scenario that ordinarily requires judges the world over to recuse themselves from hearing that case. That is, everywhere but New Zealand. It used to be the situation that at least a permanent record was made of proceedings in the High Court, thereby instilling some discipline into court proceedings, but this was abolished by the judges a few years ago. Now, the only record of proceedings is what the judge chooses to write in the 'official' minutes and rulings. Considering this, it is not surprising that the judge's version of courtroom events is often quite different to what the litigants recall. As Lord Acton observed more than 100 years ago, "Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely." It is as true today as it was then.

Court insiders have revealed that the culture of personal entitlement and cutting deals among judges is now so fully ingrained that new judicial appointees with the highest ideals and respect for their judicial oaths immediately recognize that tacit acceptance of judicial bias and deal making by fellow judges is minimally required to get along. Too often in this environment it does not take long for the new judges to begin rationalizing that favouring their own mates does not undermine their duty to society. One justice advocate calls this "the immaculate delusion", a stance anecdotally supported by research conducted for the Brain Drain feature that appeared on Kiwisfirst last month. For that story, three New Zealanders spoken to reported they had recently moved their businesses to Australia, Indonesia and the United States respectively, all citing the unsavory favoritism of the old boys' network as a major reason for doing so.

There is little question that even without such burdens of conscience judges have a stressful job. The combination of sizeable caseloads, legal complexities, staff movements and the stress of getting it right cannot be underestimated. Family and financial pressures only add to the mix. True to human nature, many judges look for an escape. In these circumstances, alcohol and prescription drugs provide solace to more than a few judges. Gambling is increasingly a problem among judges, as it is with the public in general.

All of which adds to the danger. These self-destructive bents leave judges open to the potential for blackmail. One only needs to recall the uproar that occurred when certain judges were found to be watching porn movies in their offices two years ago. If anything, the judges learnt valuable lessons from this scandal, and it is not simply how potentially vulnerable they are to blackmail. Resultantly they have become better at damage control. Last year, a judge was exposed for changing the official records of a trial. In that instance, the Court quickly closed ranks to suppress the details and prevent a public outcry. It was one of the rare occasions where the story was actually reported by New Zealand newspapers. However, the judge was not publicly named.

What can be done?
Until lately, the governments' position has largely been to rely on each judge's personal commitment to live up to their noble pledge or, alternatively, rely upon the Head of Bench to discipline those who do not. But while this proved an inherently flawed method of instilling accountability, it is already obvious that the Judicial Conduct Panel Act 2004 has also not had any meaningful impact. Perhaps it is the case earlier expressed that we can take comfort that all our judges are infallible. Even if this were the case, would it not still be prudent to ensure this continues by implementing four simple safeguards? First, to ensure accuracy and transparency, all court proceedings need to be recorded. Second, judges who have been found to rule contrary to established law or to have ignored indisputable evidence in three cases should face a mandatory referral to the Attorney General for possible disciplinary action, with this action itself being made public. Third, lawyers who do report judicial misconduct will be properly rewarded by the government, including preferential access to legal aid cases. Finally, a truly independent complaints process must be set up to ensure a proper investigation into formal complaints made against judges, with adequate powers to remove judges found guilty of misconduct.

Whether we realize it or not, we are all hugely dependent upon an honest and equitable judiciary. A just society is what separates us from countries like Zimbabwe and Columbia, and it does not happen by accident. It is the result of purposeful effort and vigilance. It is too important to lose. #

Gift to fund research of legal system

Gift to fund research of legal system.

Christchurch Press
Written by Dean Calcott.

Two Christchurch philanthropists have donated $1 million to establish the country’s first research centre aimed at improving the legal system after their own battle for justice over a damaged building.

The donation by Grant and Marilyn, as trustees of the Gams Foundation, to the University of Otago is part of the university’s Leading Thinkers initiative. . It will be matched by the Government’s Partnerships for Excellence scheme.

Grant Nelson said the Legal Issues Centre, opened last night, would undertake research on a more accessible, affordable and efficient legal system. It would also investigate how the courts could better arrive at a fair outcome for users.

He said the idea for the centre arose during a five –year legal battle to get a company to pay for $900,000 damage done to a building it leased from the Gama Foundation.
“While we eventually won the case after putting in a lot of hard work, we came to the conclusion that the way the legal system and many lawyers operated was very unsatisfactory,” he said.

He agreed with a statement by Justice John Hansen in the F.W. Guest Memorial Lecture at the university last year. The judge said he believed New Zealand needed
“ a radical rethink as to how we resolve disputes, the law is no longer a profession – it is a business,” he said .

Nelson said he hoped research findings would influence changes to the legal system and bring about a system that served the best interests of citizens, “ rather than serving the best interests of lawyers and the law”.
For example, it would look at the need for deposition hearings, which have largely been done away with in Britain.

Otago Faculty of Law dean Mark Henaghan said the new centre would act as “ critic and conscience “ of the legal system. “The danger is that the law community can become clubbish and more interested in protecting its own interests than in preventing lawyers from working the system for their own ends,” he said. Recent criminal trials had prompted calls for a critical assessment of the adversarial system, which relied on the skill of advocates rather than a neutral judge to determine the truth of a case, Henaghan said.

Under the Gama Foundation’s endowment, a director will be appointed to a chair in legal issues, at associate professor or professor level, and teach as well as research. .

The centre will prepare submissions to the Justice Minister and the Law Commission on how changes can create a justice system that better serves the public.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Kiwi culture of police corruption !!




Police Commissioner Howard Broad has watched bestiality videos at his house with his fellow police officers and groped other female staff while stationed in

Dunedin, reveals the latest issue of Investigate magazine in an unprecedented special report.

The allegations, by some of Broad’s former colleagues, are likely to see the Police Commissioner step down, and represent the tip of the iceberg in a massive investigation of police corruption and misconduct by Investigate magazine.

In this morning’s Herald on Sunday newspaper, Broad admits a bestiality video was screened at a party in his house but denies knowing about it until later in the evening.

“Later on in the night someone played a pornographic film. It was reported to me. I didn't see it. Later on it was reported to me as a film of the type you are talking about. It was in my private house," Broad told the paper.

Broad told the Herald on Sunday he was adamant he was not in the lounge at the time the film was played and did not even see the rugby films played that evening.

"I was in the kitchen talking to people. When I found out about it I was annoyed and irritated but there wasn't anything I could do," he told the paper.

On that basis, says the newspaper, Broad continues to have the confidence of Police Minister Annette King and Prime Minister Helen Clark.

However, Investigate can confirm that the real sequence of events contrasts sharply with what he has told the public. A former police colleague of Broad’s is prepared to testify on oath to a Royal Commission that:

“He was there, reveling in the video. He loved it. I was standing with him. The video also featured a pig, and the actors appeared to me to be mentally handicapped. Broad was laughing.”

Magazine editor Ian Wishart says Broad appears to be doing a Bill Clinton.

“To suggest he didn’t see the bestiality video and was unaware of it is a lie that has about as much credibility as Bill Clinton’s admission that he used to smoke marijuana joints ‘but I didn’t inhale’.”

Bestiality videos were (and remain) prohibited objectionable material and their screening is illegal.

Wishart says the magazine’s two year inquiry has pinpointed Dunedin and Christchurch as the hub of police corruption in New Zealand, with officers engaged in organised crime, drugs, rape, extortion, underage sex, kidnapping and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

“Some of the key figures in the corruption allegations were senior detectives on the David Bain case,” Wishart confirmed today, “and we are breaking major new ground on that case as a result.”

The devastating allegations, based on taped statements made by victims and on magazine interviews with witnesses willing to testify to a Royal Commission of Inquiry, also drag in no fewer than six Government MPs, including Attorney-General Michael Cullen, Social Development Minister David Benson-Pope and one of Helen Clark’s closest advisors, Pete Hodgson.

The magazine alleges Cullen and Benson-Pope helped police cover-up details of an alleged pedophile, bestiality and bondage and discipline ring in

Dunedin in the 1980s, while the other MPs were aware of major corruption allegations about Dunedin Police in 2000, but failed to launch any proper investigation.

Wishart adds that Howard Broad’s admission that bestiality videos were screening adds credence to some of the other specific allegations about bestiality in Dunedin, which are specified in the magazine out today.

The following major allegations are contained in a 17 page special investigation in the June issue of Investigate magazine, the result of two years of background inquiries and six weeks of intensive investigation:

That current Police Commissioner Howard Broad had, and was watching, bestiality videos at his going away party from the Dunedin CIB at 19 Arawa St.

That current Police Commissioner Howard Broad fondled junior staff whilst stationed at the Dunedin CIB.

That Howard Broad, when he stated that only a “few” officers were involved in sexual misconduct, either knew or should have known of the extensive sexual misconduct in the Dunedin CIB

That Police National Headquarters, Dunedin Police and the Labour Government helped quash an investigation into a child sex, bondage and bestiality ring operating in
Dunedin in 1984 run by the father of a police officer and attended by at least one Labour cabinet minister.

That current Attorney-General Michael Cullen and the current Minister responsible for CYFS, David Benson-Pope, helped run damage control over the child sex, bondage and bestiality case in 1985.

That current Labour coalition MPs Pete Hodgson, Tim Barnett, George Hawkins and Matt Robson were aware of major allegations of police misconduct from 2000 onwards, including the existence of videotapes of police rapes and bestiality involving police officers.

That by failing to rein in police corruption brought to their attention in the eighties and again in 2000, the Labour government has permitted the culture of corruption to widen in that time, wrecking more lives.

That former Wellington District Commander and current Police National Headquarters officer, Superintendent John Kelly indecently assaulted a number of women, including the daughter of a previous police commissioner.

That Dunedin and Christchurch Police had arrangements to turn a blind eye to organised crime – including underage sex and drug dealing - in return for sexual favours from brothels.

That police have maintained files on key politicians and public figures capable of being used to blackmail the government, judges, lobby groups and even police association members into supporting the status quo.

That Dunedin police officers, former and current, have been involved in multiple rapes of junior female police staff, prostitutes and civilians, drug deals, and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, including falsifying charges.

That several of the top officers in the David Bain case, including Milton Weir, were allegedly corrupt police officers.

That the officer involved in the alleged rape of a court worker, detailed in our last issue and cleared by Police National Headquarters last month, is also a corrupt officer.

That the culture of police corruption, far from being localised to the
Bay of Plenty or historic, extends to a large number of jurisdictions because of staff movements, and continues to the present day.

That the only way to weed the bad cops out of the force is a Royal Commission, because the Old Boys Network within the police is currently looking after its own interests and bringing discredit to the many hardworking honest police who do not have the institutional power to bring change.

Investigate has been shown the names and specific allegations about a large number of current and former police officers alleged to have been involved in multiple rapes, drug deals, extortion, perversion of the course of justice, sexual misconduct, abuse of power, bringing the police into disrepute, abduction and kidnapping, fraud and a range of other crimes. Multiple police districts and National Headquarters are involved. There is far, far more than we have published in this major investigation.

The magazine is calling for an immediate, full Royal Commission of Inquiry into the performance of the New Zealand Police, with wide terms of reference and full powers to subpoena, compel and take evidence on oath. Our informants do not believe the police have sufficient integrity to investigate these allegations against senior officers, and no other independent law enforcement agency exists capable of investigating the police.

Wales verse New Zealand.

NZ Herald
5:00AM Sunday May 13, 2007
By Stephen Cook

The Welsh mum at the centre of New Zealand's most public international custody battle has been diagnosed with potentially life-threatening breast cancer.
Diane Jelicich, the mother of tug-of-love toddler Caitlin Jelicich, has had a partial mastectomy and now faces a second lot of chemotherapy treatment following the detection of a cancerous lump on her breast. It's another blow for the 43-year-old struggling not only with her own health issues, but with Caitlin's as well.

Diane and Caitlin, who is nearly 3, returned to Swansea two years ago after a custody dispute with Caitlin's father Stephen.

The fight over the toddler made headlines around the world in January 2005, when Stephen Jelicich went on the run with the baby after the breakdown of the couple's marriage a few months earlier. He gave himself up after 10 days and lost the right to keep Caitlin in the country after a New Zealand Family Court ruling.

However, since returning to Wales, Diane Jelicich has fallen on hard times. She is living in a council house, has been forced to return to work part time as a nurse "just so we can scrape by" and has been in and out of hospital with Caitlin, who is believed to be suffering from some type of problem with her immune system.

"She gets sick really easily," Diane Jelicich told the Herald on Sunday. "This is happening all the time, like once every six weeks. It really gets her down."

She was disappointed her former husband had not telephoned about Caitlin's health problems or offered any money to help with the cost of raising her. "I don't understand him. He fought so hard and made everything so public in New Zealand. He said he couldn't live without her - and now it's as though she doesn't exist."

Stephen Jelicich is now being pursued by British authorities for child support after refusing to pay anything to his ex-wife.

However, while a Swansea court has ruled in Diane Jelicich's favour, she accepts it could be almost impossible to enforce the order.

"If I could just get him to pay $10 a month, at least it would be something. I have not seen one cent. He just totally totally refuses to pay anything."

Stephen Jelicich refused to speak to the Herald on Sunday about his former wife, Caitlin or the child support order. However, last year he admitted cutting ties with Caitlin because of the difficulties in dealing with his ex-wife. He had undergone counselling, had a new partner and was now trying to move on with his life.

He believed he had lost his daughter and was angry his ex-wife was trying to "rub salt into the wounds" by seeking child support.

Diane Jelicich said despite that, she continued sending birthday and Christmas cards to her former husband and even had a page on the web with pictures and artwork from Caitlin, in case her father wanted to see the progress his daughter was making.

"I want her to have a dad, even if he is in another country," she said.

"I am trying really hard, but we don't get anything back. When I pick Caitlin up from creche and she sees one of the other kids' dads, she sometimes asks 'Where is my Daddy?'

"It is really, really sad. She is getting to that stage where she knows kids have dads, and she is wondering why she hasn't got one."

The battle

December 1, 2004: Stephen Jelicich successfully applies for an order preventing baby Caitlin's removal from New Zealand after his marriage breaks down during an 11-week family holiday here.

December 24: The order is overturned, allowing Caitlin to leave the country.

January 8, 2005: Stephen Jelicich takes Caitlin into hiding.

January 10: Diane Jelicich returns to Wales, as scheduled.

January 13: Police release details and photographs of the father and daughter in an effort to enforce the court order.

January 18: Stephen Jelicich comes out of hiding after his lawyer wins the right to appeal the Family Court order.

April 14-15: A hearing is held in the Family Court at Waitakere, but Judge Sarah Fleming rules in favour of Diane Jelicich.

May 7: Diane Jelicich leaves New Zealand.

More by Stephen Cook
Email Stephen Cook

Steve Bayliss
F4J Wales-Cymru

Bringing Dads From Around The World.....Together

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Saturday, May 5, 2007

Don't Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must but don’t quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

VC 216 Litho in Italy

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Zoe wants her Daddy


Every day I watch the other Children in play school
Daddies dropping them off , I pretend I`m cool
No hugs no kisses from my daddy will I receive
I sit hugging my knees and wipe my tears on my sleeve.
Where are you my Daddy?

I wonder as to sore that is in the centre of my heart ?
These lumps in my throat have been there at the start.
As the dam of tears trickle slowly down my cheek,
Mom says I`m a big girl can`t let anyone see I am weak.
Where are you my Daddy?

Sometimes I hope and dream in my castle in the tree,
I wait for you my hero to come out and rescue me.
I wait until the sun meets the sky until darkness falls,
Just as I search all faces that go by in the Malls.
Where are you my Daddy?

At night to sleep I must go, no bedtime stories to my hero meet,
The darkness of night fear takes shape no daddy to my dragon beat.
My heart pounds waiting for strong arms my comfort to supply,
Disappointment sets in, let down again, in myself I must rely,
Where are you my Daddy?