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The Harbour Bridge held to ransom … discomfort for many – but a protest success …

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Title: …
“The Harbour Bridge held to ransom …
… discomfort for many – but a protest success …
Thought for the Day …
“Many have the ability – few chose to be hero’s …

The following comment was sent in privately – with a request to have it published via the EYE-BALL Opinion Blog.  It is published as a voice that agrees with the deficiencies of the Family Law Courts in addressing the plight of Fathers and Mothers who have their children’s interest foremost to consider.

It’s a plea and hopefully it will be heard long beyond the criminal charges – and the discomfort of millions of commuters who sat in their cars and in trains and bus’s – listening to their radios and the media commentary about what was unfolding – they suffered for a few hours last Friday – the man who caused the stoppage had something to say – and he was successful i the way he said it … Please read the comments as posted and linked here to the FAMILY LAW Web Guide: and as relates to this story …

As you chatter amongst friends over the events from the Sydney Harbour Bridge last Friday – the heart of the reasons why the man did what he did is of varying interest.

Many will talk of the disruption to traffic and trains during the peak-hour disruptions to the Sydney Harbour Bridge – when the Commissioner of Police ordered the closure to thoroughfare for 2 hours for reasons of safety. Much of the ensuring media coverage was all to do with the criminality of the man’s actions. During the crisis – some media outlets covering the event live did raise comment on what drives someone to protest as this man was doing.

Some who can identify with the man’s plight and reasons – that being the plight for justice in matrimonial disputes – and the ongoing frustrations that is played out in the judicial process concerning Family Court and child custody – do agree with the extreme action taken – particularly when solicitors want to vex the issue by using separate, and disparate authorities – and in this case – the Department of Community Services.

Even uttering this comment – publication of this comment has to be concerned with the legal position relative to – Section-112AP of the Family Law Act, 1975 – and concerning – ‘Contempt of Court, or bringing the Court into disrepute’ issues.

At times you might hear that there has been sensible progress in the Family Law Court in the past decade – but then you hear the same disgrace happening here in Australian Family Law Courts – is also happening in Britain, NZ, Canada and the USA. The examples are too numerous.

As a rule – those affected do not talk openly about the problems. It is not the male way, and frankly no one wants to hear – and most of all – the men involved are suffering mental issues even they would find had to express – access to their children is being decided upon by those who don’t understand the total aspect of the family dispute – vested parties tell lies and paint the picture that will get them custody.

Known instances to the author can relate the following:

  • A man – father of 4 boys – gaoled in maximum security at Brixton (UK) for 4 months, on an order from a Connecticut (USA) Court – based on a suspicion of what might happen when the separated mother took the children from Britain to the to the USA.
  • A man from Wellington owned a home and small business before marrying a single Mum – he then made the decision to adopt her children. When the marriage failed, the ex-wife was awarded the home and the husband was forced to close the small business and move to Sydney – due to the ongoing maintenance claims and court shenanigans he had to endure all sorts of emotional upheaval and the entire imbroglio stopped him from running his business. I enquired – and was told: “I guess there was a baseless claim of paedophilia” – and the adoptive father responded – “no that did not happen to me, but it happened to my brother.”
  • A man was refused a security clearance by the NSW Board of Studies to supervise HSC exams – he had been totally exonerated of sexual assault claims started to accelerate the wife’s claims in Family Court – but due to these unproven allegations – the stigma remained and was used to deny employment. A great example of when you throw enough mud, some of it sticks.
  • Examples could go on and on – but be wary of two much specificity because Section 112AP of the Family Law Act is always there – and should you name names of the barristers and solicitors, and Judges who alternate between bench and bar, according to their own greedy and selfish needs, you can find yourself facing ‘contempt of court’ charges.
  • We could even throw in other anecdotes like the country and western song “Crappy Fathers Day” – to highlight the point – there is the tragedy where a girl aged 13 – had to deal with her father’s suicide. The girl will carry that memory for all of her years. We can only think in the positive – and that being he did not consider a murder suicide which happens all too often.
  • A barrister friend, who now works for public prosecutors once told me, he would not operate in the Family Court, because it is a closed club, and if you don’t have the right connections you will never get justice.

About the depression. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (or Syndrome) is an evolving psychology. After World War II it was termed Shell Shock. We all have distant uncles or grandfathers who have some type of story and it could be dressed as domestic violence, alcoholism being distant or reclusive or any combination of the afore said. By the 1980’s to 1990’s Post Traumatic Stress was a thing only veterans could have.

Family Law is a war. Most importantly it should not be, and doesn’t have to be. A more sensible and conciliatory approach is mandatory. Before the Family Law Act we needed grounds for divorce. By removing grounds for divorce the Family Law Act, should have created a more simplified and less hostile setting for moving on. Very importantly, solicitors lost out. Do it yourself divorce reduced their fees earned.

Solicitors needed to create new ways to return the vexatiousness. That is fine. But now they too can be subject to section 112AP of the Family Law Act. If they lodge audacious claims in the Family Court or Federal Magistracy, they are personably responsible, and not hide behind their instructions, relying upon, “I am instructed”. Their oath of Office vested in the various Supreme Courts requires them to uphold the law, and not bring the law into disrepute.

Next question is: “Will the Family Law Court or Federal Magistracy apply this law equally?” Do we require an independent commission of enquiry? On Friday – the NSW Premier said that there can be no excuse for this man stopping peak hour traffic, and interfering with others. Is that OK? Law is a double-edged sword – Justice and equity are very fine lines.

Desolate Dad – (written on behalf of all those who can not find the courage to speak up)

Post Script, the hardest part is that it has taken about a decade to find the courage to speak up – please tell this story …

Divorce is too easy – that is a statement of fact – and when one looks to how children of divorced parents cope with their dealing with a decision that impacts on them in many ways for the rest of their lives – the trauma felt by children from kindergarten through to schooling – all point to children suffering their grief in silence – or in ways that focus attention to their suffering.

Parents cannot see – they are focused on retaining custody and finalising a divorce and the emotional ties to a past relationship. This is not the same for each parent – it is not always a mutually agreed divorce – and thus ensures the bitterness and bile that the children are exposed to. This all done the while whilst the children struggle to find the answers – which parent do they trust – who do I want to live with – what choices for a child and the guilt they feel about making that choice dictate responses that go on for years …

In some cases parents try to reconcile for the children’s sake – but as lawyers get involved – their advice is for the parents to not talk to one another – this is hardly helpful and creates the divide that ensures the war … and the children become the pawns to be fought over …

It’s easy to see why last Friday’s protest happen – six months ago a man dumped six tonnes of poop on the Harbour Bridge in protest over similar issues – something is wrong with the system – and it is not the only system that is failing society.

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  1. Warwick
    May 16, 2011 at 8:02 am

    What a great post.

    Isn’t it a pity that working for the Department of Community Services is so unpopular that it becomes a coven of misandrists, feminazis and homosexuals that all have natural bias against the existing attitudes towards the traditional concepts of marriage and support gay rights in marriage and same sex parenting.

    This blog is not only informative it is mind blowing.

  2. Jerry
    May 16, 2011 at 8:43 am

    60 Minutes had a go at this story last night – the guy sounded real and had many good points … be very interesting to see what criminal charges are laid and what happens … there is anger out there as relates to the child-custody issues – and this will only give hope to parents wanting access to their chidren …

  3. Warwick
    May 16, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Go Jerry. Is that my old mate Hatrick. If it is, give me a call so we can catch up.

  4. Warwick
    May 17, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    This morning on Sydney radio (Local 702 – ABC) they had an interview with Tom Bathurst QC, the incoming Chief Justice of NSW. There were two critical elements of the interview, that highlight how law is wholly detached from our society.

    In response to the triple murder suicide that occurred on Sunday night in Robina Qld, and Northern NSW on Monday, he said it is not a problem for the judiciary but for psychologists – and in responding to comment about Queen Counsels (silks) charging $10,000 a day to appear, he replied;

    “… not all charge that much, and I guess it is a case of supply and demand …”.

    Yes – but it also entrenchs 2 legal standards – one for the stupidly rich and one for the not so stupidly rich.

    Take a person in the 90th percentile of incomes – (the bottom of the top 10%)- can they afford a team where the top silk plus junior counsel plus instructing solicitor are charging – (lets image) $12,000 per day – in a case that might run to 10 hearing days. That is at least $120,000 maybe reduced slightly if it does run the full two weeks. (If you book senior counsel you pay a cancellation fee). That $120,000 is after tax, maybe the best part of a years income. What chance does the guy earning $50k or $80k stand? When you have a valid case, you will not get justice, you simply can’t finance it or afford it.

    It makes me so angry, I need an advocate to present my case, but simply can’t afford one. That is also said knowing that no legal advocate would speak against their brethren.

    The deranged??? man of Robina and Northern NSW was rederanged or pushed to insanity?

    Who also is both deranged and insane? Worst part is he is the Chief Justice of NSW.

  5. May 17, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    The tragedy at Robina and Nth NSW – was that triggered by the Harbour Bridge incident – did the Husband see the protest and take strength in the fact that the protest seemed to work … i.e. 60 minutes interview and positive media spinning of his cause …

    There is defenitly somethin in what you say Warwick – Justice is for those who can afford it – the rest of us just have to take it how it comes – Legal Aid and the like when forced to find someone to defend us – it is one of those subjects that nobody in the game wants to talk about – Lawyers with a conscious work in the Legal aid system and other advocacy work to help those where Lawyers are generally out of reach …

    The incoming Chief Justice is just a representation of the Judiucial process … no doubt he has earned his promotion – but for all the silks and QC’s who don’t get out of bed unless it is for the money – and large and obscene money at that – what are they thinking about when they see injustice everyday because the Lawyers representing the other side are not clever enough to prove their case … notches on belts for Lawyers means in many cases – the wrong person gets to win the court battle …

  6. Herman
    May 18, 2011 at 9:25 am

    A murderer or a man who holds anyone to siege (the harbour bridge epidode) can not be condoned.

    A man firstly accused of being violent, where a judge has to treat the allegation warily, only exacerbates the issue. In this instance, the triple murder, proves the allegation.

    Anna Bligh has said “there are lessons to be learned”. Most true, but just as importantly “and”!!!!!?????

    This murderer has not achieved anything. When will he take personal responsibility. He is dead, suicided. As Jake said it will be interesting to watch what happens to the Harbour Bridge matter. Will details emerge, or will suppression orders (protecting the children) prevent details from being made widely available.

    Where all of this is hard enough, the Law Reform comments that taking adversarial out of Family Law won’t work is just utter contempt. How many more innocents need to be murdered before the legal fraternity start to take personal responsibility?

  7. Desolate Dad
    May 18, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Desolate Dad

    I want to thank Eyeball for this forum and all other bloggers for their contribution.

    Reading the post on Sunday really helped to relieve some tension. The osteo-arthritis in my left shoulder was not so apparent on Sunday night. I know that nothing has really changed, it is but purely a cry to the ethers, but sometimes just getting it off your chest, really helps.

    The turn of events on Monday is tragic. As Herman said you can not condone murder. As he also said relating to Anna Bligh “AND” will there be a proper enquiry? Will enough detail be supplied to properly inform all vested interests on how Family Law is just getting it so wrong?

    I (we) can only pray.

  8. Jesse Vallian
    May 28, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Generally I do not read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up forced me to try and do it! Your writing style is amazing.Thanks, very nice post

  9. Warwick
    May 28, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Regarding Jennifer Betts Stipendary Magistrate being asked to show cause why she should not be removed from office, I have circulated to each and every MLA and MLC in NSW details that the Judicial Commission would not investigate. I have asked the Attorney General if I could make a victims statement to the joint houses sitting after Ms Betts has presented to show cause.

    This bi polar bull really sickens me. I wrote into the The Daily Telegraph, bi polar is becoming the diagnosis of convenience. When anyone makes an absolute fool of themselves, Marcus Einfield, John Brogden or Jennifer Betts they simply plead bi polar but I am back on my medicine.

    How many people suffering from a any type of depressive illness has Jenny Betts sent to gaol. About 25% per cent of the prison population are there for some type of alcohol related crime. Alcohol is the most widely self prescribed medicine for depression. After that it would be non prescription chemist products like pain killers.
    In Jenny Betts case her depression is contagious, because she spreads it every time she gives another outrageous ruling from the bench, thereby denying justice. To what extent do those types of injustice contribute to the recent siege on the harbour bridge or the Robina/Northern NSW triple murder suicide. It is time we hold an enquiry with full and frank admissions.

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