Open Letter to LE, SL and other legal types
Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-02-12
Dear LE and SL at Skepticlawyer,
As you know, I’m a fan of both of you… wit, whimsy and smarts on legal philosophy.
So I’m hoping you’ll write something, together or separately (although a compare and contrast could be fun) to this Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into Australia’s Judicial System and the Role of Judges
Hey, just make a list of previous posts on the issues you’ve done and I’ll cut and paste and plagiarise. A couple of jokes gleaned from your posts are probably just what the Senators would like to see! (Maybe a cartoon from DEM?)
It’s a very wide-ranging inquiry (see the terms of reference or below the fold), and you’ve only got until 2009-03-30 to email your submissions into
email@example.com, although the report from the committee isn’t due until 2009-08-17.
You two live and breathe (and laugh!) this stuff.
Seriously though, this is probably one of the most important general inquiries we’ve had in decades, and I’d really appreciate any efforts your two minds (and hearts) might make.
p.s. LE: say hi to the kids from me. SL: Don’t eat the yellow snow.
Hmmmm. Maybe without your input I’ll write something like this….
- the procedure for appointment and method of termination: Why not have a lotto like we did for conscription? We do that for those that make guilty/not-guilty decisions in juries, don’t we? Couldn’t we forget the judges and let people vote by SMS, like we do to evict people from Big Brother? And if we must terminate, a big bolus of phenobarb and heroin should do the trick.
- the term of appointment, including the desirability of a compulsory retirement age, and the merit of full-time, part-time or other arrangements: Who cares, as long as there is time for golf with enough energy left over so they don’t fall asleep in court!
- appropriate qualifications: Do you want a good one, or one that keeps the politicians happy? Do you want one that can relate to the situation of the people before them?
- jurisdictional issues: Bugger it, let’s have a court with SMs handing out death sentences for lying politicians. Forget the "beyond reasonable doubt" here and just go for "balance of probability".
- the cost of delivering justice: Why should we pay for justices to be delivered unless they are coming to my place? Can’t they walk or ride a tram to work?
- the timeliness of judicial decisions: Depends how reasoned a decision you want. I thought the legal firms with bigs clients tried delaying tactics.
- the judicial complaints handling system: That’s what we have Andrew Bolt for!
- the interface between the federal and state judicial system: Derrrr! TCP/IP, of course! IPv6 if you want it secure.
- the ability of people to access legal representation: Don’t they have a phone? I’ve seen Slater and Gordon advertise, so just let the market do its stuff.
- the adequacy of legal aid: Are you seriously wanting to balance the scales? That’d be a first!
- measures to reduce the length and complexity of litigation: Become a communist state. If there is no property, there can be no theft, and we only have crimes against persons left to worry about. Alternatively, can’t we outsource it to a Judge Judy? And don’t worry about the dollar-value limits… let her hear the big corporate cases. Half hour case, ad break every 6 minutes…perfect for TV and it’d help them meet local content quotas. (No canned laughter or boos, tho when it’s telecast, unless it’s Bogan v Bogan over blocking the driveway with Commodores on bricks, or the neighbour’s cat has raped your pit bull terrier.
- alternative means of delivering justice: As I said before: Taxis, trams, trains, bikes, wheelchairs, walking or self-drive.
- the adequacy of funding and resource arrangements for community legal centres: What? Do you seriously think anything that might help the little guy against the big guy will make your party donors happy?
- the ability of Indigenous people to access justice: Considering half of those in remote regions haven’t got a full-time cop shop, or decent health service, is this the right question? Besides, Kev said "sorry" so he can get away with not doing anything: that’s his standard tactic isn’t it? For EVERYTHING?
- other matters relating and incidental thereto: Can we get rid of the wigs and ties and stuff that must make it difficult to get blood to the brain? Skip the robes (save on aircon – so good for the environment). And decent coffee delivered to all participants in court so they can stay alert. NO DECAF ALLOWED. And if we get a Judge Judy, can we get a telegenic one, like that bimbo on Today Tonight? (Mind you, if it’s juvenile court, we need somebody nice and sweet, a judge everybody feels good about and makes everybody relaxed, like Marcia Hines).