[ The words below are matters of opinion. No specific criticism is implied or directed at the Queensland Police Service, any particular Magistrate or Judge. The comments are general, based on observations of reality. ]
Once, perhaps twice per week, Australian women are bashed, harassed or murdered by their partners/husbands, who are free to do so……because they have been bailed from Court by activist magistrates and judges, who are practising therapeutic justice.
The world in which these justice officials inhabit, is not troubled by the brutal reality of the day to day struggle for existence by women who live alone and who try to raise children, work, have some kind of social life, and, who have ever-present in their minds and souls the coiled spring of fear……’ will he come tonight ? ‘, ‘ will he find me here? ‘, ‘ what will I do when he smashes the down the door? ‘, ‘ will the Police make it in time ?’. No Sir, these officials inhabit the land of small towers and balconies from which they can pronounce their interpretation of justice.
Long gone are the days of black letter law; assault means assault, murder means murder: this is now the age of therapeutic justice. Courts, not all of them by any means, but enough, are occupied by, unelected, and therefore not publicly responsible, magistrates and judges who have assumed the mantle of community saviours. Perhaps out of necessity, who knows? But it seems as if all social problems and various other tedious and troublesome matters can be dealt with by counselling, diversionary programs and undertakings by defence lawyers, on behalf of their clients.
In our communities there exists an iron law. There is a social contract between the massive number of citizens who live their lives according to the law of our land and the elected Governments of our nation. The substance of the contract is that the justice system, the law enforcement agencies and the other instruments of the law will protect our citizens as they go about their lawful daily lives.
And, generally speaking, that is what they do. And, they do it well.
But, we know, because we see it in the print and electronic media, that a significant part of that contract has been breached! Women have been raped and murdered by serial rapists on bail !! Women are regularly abused and killed by men, their ex-partners or husbands/de factos who are on bail !! Assaults beyond sensible counting, are committed by young, alcohol-fuelled men on bail for previous assaults.
And, so it goes…………………………………………………?
Communities are beginning to complain. Our Court system, objectively speaking, overloaded; deliver a form of therapeutic justice comprising diversionary programs, rehabilitation houses, focus groups, ‘ happy clapping ‘, rather than the application of black letter law.
Large numbers of our citizens feel threatened as gangs of disaffected youths from African countries rampage through Victoria on occasions, and weird loners drive motor vehicles through crowds of people. The Victorian Police appear frustrated and angry at the way that State’s Court system seems to run a revolving door of bail applications, recently addressed by establishing a night Court!
Social crusading journalists, talking heads on our TV screens find ways of justifying everything………….none of this is anyone’s fault, no one is responsible except the vague concept of ‘ the Government ‘ and the solution is more money must be spent to fix it !!
I say too many empty words have been spoken: too many nonsense enquiries have been conducted: too much froth and bubble has been spread about.
A valid acceptance exists in our society that justice should not be about retribution; justice should be about rehabilitation and prevention of recidivism.
Well, that is fine, and Winston Churchill’s words stand unchallenged ‘ that you can judge a society by the way it treats its prisoners ‘
We have moved on from the squalid prisons and systemic violence; our prisons are useful and provide society precisely what they are designed to do.
I say that it is time to stop the therapeutic justice, apply the laws as written and demand that Governments hold the justice system to account.