15th Jun 2016
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Does the law favour the privileged and punish the victim?

If you have been reading recent news reports you may well ask yourself: “Does the law favour the privileged and punish the victim?” Two cases of sexual assault, one in Qatar and another in America, which both took place in March this year, shed light on how legal systems across the world treat both perpetrator and victim.

A Dutch woman, who reported that she had been raped while travelling in Doha, will be sent back to Utrecht after being prosecuted for having illicit sex.

The 22-year-old woman, known only as Laura, said she had been drugged while in a high-end nightclub in Doha and woke up in an unfamiliar apartment, where she realised she had been raped. After reporting the rape, Laura was arrested by police for having sex out of wedlock, fined 750 euros and detained for three months. After receiving a one year suspended sentence, Laura has been allowed to return home to the Netherlands by deportation.

The man accused of her rape, Syrian national Omar Abdullah Al-Hasan, claimed the sex was consensual. He pleaded guilty to charges of illicit consensual sex and being drunk in public, and will receive 140 lashes as punishment.

Meanwhile, former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner has been making headlines this past week for raping a 23-year-old woman behind a garbage bin while she was unconscious. Turner, 20, was last week convicted and given a six-month jail sentence. The leniency was allegedly granted in recognition of Turner’s previous good character and the fact that he was a talented swimmer.

Despite expectations that Turner will only have to carry out half of his sentence, his mother, Carleen Turner appealed his incarceration, writing to Judge Aaron Persky, “I beg of you, please don’t send him to jail/prison. Look at him. He won’t survive it. He will be damaged forever and I fear he would be a major target. Stanford boy, college kid, college-athlete — all the publicity. This would be a death sentence for him.”

Turner’s father, Dan Turner was criticised for defending his son’s actions, saying he should not go to jail for “20 minutes of action”.

Judge Persky, who handed down the sentence, was convinced by a character reference written by Turner’s classmate, Leslie Rasmussen. In the reference, Rasmussen says, “If I had to choose one kid I graduated with to be in the position Brock is, it would never have been him.”

Rasmussen has since apologised for the letter, which was widely criticised for placing blame on the victim. “But where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses aren’t always because people are rapists,” she wrote.

In addition to his sentence, Turner has been banned for life from USA Swimming, disqualifying him from competing in the Olympic trials.

Read more at www.abc.net.au
Read more at www.abc.net.au

Opinion: Privilege invisible to those who have it

How are these two legal systems different?

Qatar is governed by Islamic law, which forbids extra-marital sex, the consumption of alcohol and being drunk in a public place. It is easy for us in the west to decry Islamic law for being archaic and oppressive. Many of us have a particular vision of what life in an Islamic country would be like – and the western media does an excellent job of fuelling this vision.

However, Laura’s case of having her drink spiked, being raped, then being blamed for her own attack, certainly isn’t a narrative that is unique to Middle Eastern countries. It’s the exact same narrative we see in so many western sexual assault cases. All too often, the victim is blamed for making mistakes; stepping out of line; drinking too much; wearing the wrong thing. Meanwhile, perpetrators (who should have ‘bright futures’), want forgiveness for their ‘mistakes’.

Brock Turner’s case ignited a furore across the world due to the disproportionate lightness of the sentence compared with the crime. People took to social media, protested at the university, wrote news articles and signed petitions.

This lenient sentence is a familiar story: educated, white Stanford University student, champion swimmer, from a stable family with his future cut short. So much potential, so much life ahead of him – how can all that be washed away by, as his father puts it, “20 minutes of action”?

What if Turner’s skin wasn’t white? What if his parents hadn’t been able to afford the US$150,000 bail or hire a defense team that litigated and mitigated at the same time, securing a win at sentencing? What if Leslie Rasmussen’s letter (Turner’s friend) hadn’t swayed Judge Aaron Persky? What if the judge hadn’t been a Stanford graduate?

As westerners, it’s easy for us to point fingers at a culture that we believe has an unjust approach to dealing with crime. It’s more difficult to look in our own backyard and be able to admit that we also have a justice problem. It’s just so entrenched in our culture that we very often fail to recognise it.

What is it they say about privilege? It’s invisible only to those who don’t have it.

What do you think of the western legal system in comparison to that of other parts of the world? Are perpetrators who are born into privilege given more leniency than those who are less advantaged? If you’ve been following the Brock Turner case, do you think he received a just sentence?





    COMMENTS

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    tisme
    15th Jun 2016
    10:05am
    yes it does , in tenancy law landlords are represented by realtors yet there is no one to represent tenants because most dont have the money. the laws are soft on criminals cos the laws are made by rich crooks
    MICK
    15th Jun 2016
    10:14am
    Yes. Representing yourself costs heaps. $5,000 a day in the local court and this allows most bad behaviour to flourish.
    Omacarla
    15th Jun 2016
    10:26am
    Tisme , that is an unwarranted reply and not a real comparison. Most landlords are just people who work hard and try to get some extra for their retirement. Many take on extra mortgage just to do this and many tenants don 't care and think the landlords owe them.

    As to the laws, they do seem to favour the privileged. How often do we see a sentence involving a well known person when we say, he/she would not have had that low sentence if they were not well known. I know rape sentences were often regarded as the girl's fault and that is also why they were and are not reported. But I do know the system is changing there and the police at least , have a much changed attitude and caring towards the victims of that horrendous crime.
    Rosret
    15th Jun 2016
    12:01pm
    Wait until you get a vexatious body corporate executive. They are just as expensive to deal with and can cause so much trouble with deliberate intent to harass and remove other tenants until they get the neighbours of their choosing.
    KSS
    15th Jun 2016
    12:29pm
    Not true Mick. It does NOT cost $5000 a day to represent yourself in the local court or even the Federal Court. If you are representing yourself the only cost might be lost wages for the day. And before you ask, yes I have represented myself at both the local, district and Federal Court and, I might add, won in all three jurisdictions.
    KSS
    15th Jun 2016
    1:04pm
    Tisme, (Residential) tenancy law is usually conducted in no representation jurisdictions e.g. in NSW that would be NCAT. Neither side are permitted representation. The only reason that the Estate Agent would be there is because to all intents and purposes they are the landlord. And in most cases I have witnessed the outcome is far more often in favour of the tenant than the landlord regardless of what the tenant may have done. And it takes months and months - sometimes years to go through the process mostly due to the tenant being afforded all consideration at the expense of the landlord/owner of the property.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2016
    4:02pm
    I seem to recall a line from an old well known movie (To Kill a Mockingbird) where the lead character (a lawyer) was told his lawyer that "only a fool has a client for himself".
    I was referring to paying a lawyer. That costs. The figure above is what I was quoted 2 weeks ago. Guess what?
    Sceptic
    15th Jun 2016
    4:10pm
    MICK, you say that you were referring to paying a lawyer. I find that difficult to work out from your words, thus, "Yes. Representing yourself costs heaps. $5,000 a day in the local court ."
    buby
    16th Jun 2016
    5:49pm
    Well Tisme, i think your right, not all landlords are that great.
    IN one unit that i lived, I found there lived a disabled woman, and she was screwed over, and how did i know that, cause the same one tried to screw me over too. Lucky for me i wasn't mentally disabled, and i was much older, and i stood my ground and did things legally so much so. That i won in court, but yet i didn't, cause for may months i went without heating, i nearly froze to death, the bad conditions i had to put up with was appalling, Also Broken pipes, which was leanking in my wall. and when it rained, it leaded in my bedroom. So you know really SOME Landlords ARE real A**holes I won't tar them all with the same brush, but i'm not impressed. I was a home owner for 20yrs, then i had to rent... What an eye opener that was>!!!
    i scared the shit out of the landlord, who preceded to sell the property to whom ever, then changed Real estate agents, who was stumped as to why i wasn't paying rent. It was because i was paying my rent to the courts, until whom ever turned out to be the owner, had to fix the property i was living in. Eventually the new Real estate agent found out when i told him of the problems i had, and i had to retell it to the new owner, cause they knew nothing of it.
    I tell you the disabled, and Not so smart ppl in this world often get screwed over
    maxchugg
    17th Jun 2016
    10:06am
    When Aboriginal legal Aid was taken from the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, press reports indicated that the annual funding was $2.3 million. Exactly how much is available for the remaining 97% of the population is not known, but almost certainly less than $2.3 million.

    George Brandis revealed that "the Coalition delivered $1.6 billion for legal aid commissions, community legal centres and indigenous legal services. A detailed breakdown would be interesting.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2016
    10:13am
    There is absolutely no doubt that the 'law' is almost always applied differently according to postcode in Australia and who the defending lawyer is.
    I can cite two cases which stick in my mind.
    The first one involves John Singleton who was driving down the M5 and pulled up around 80 km/h over the speed limit. Singleton was defended by high profile lawyer Chris Murphy and he got off. Not a fine. Not any demerit points. Not a conviction. Disgraceful rich man's justice.
    The second was the well publicised Collar Bomber (so named) where the daughter of a high profile man was held to ransom. Had the girl been from the western suburbs the guy would have gotten 2 years maximum but because of who the father was received a 13 year sentence. People get much less for rape and murder in other cases. Even children who murder their own parents only get a couple of years before being released. 13 years? Yeah...rich man's justice.
    The above are the tip of a very very large iceberg and the injustices are repeated at regular intervals with only a handful making the Press. Justice, or rather the inconsistency of it, are a disgrace in this country.
    Society needs to put some judges on trial for their sentences. Oh yes.....cases involving those in the legal profession are normally thrown out of court and the only ones which normally proceed are those where a particular legal person is a target from the profession itself or government. This is what we refer to as a 'free' country. You have to wonder.

    15th Jun 2016
    10:23am
    Of course the "law" favours some people, but I would not necessarily use the word "privileged", but rather the word "monied" or “popular". Sporting people, entertainers, politicians, wealthy people, and all the relatives of the above-mentioned are treated with "privilege" to the law. The aspiring asshole solicitor who coward-punched a guy on the Sunshine Coast had no offence recorded, as it would disqualify him from the bar, is a typical example of the travesty of JUSTICE and SHOWS the INEQUALITY of APPLICATION OF THE "LAW"! Also, the leniency shown certain minorities committing offences in this country is another clear and blatant misinterpretation of justice! And, if this comment is deleted by the "moderator" of this site, it will demonstrate how unjust and undemocratic Australia is becoming and confirm how "privileged" some people are compared to others.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2016
    10:36am
    Judges make the call Eddie and clearly favour their own. It is quite obvious that lawyers have a pecking order and that justice is dispensed according to WHO the lawyer is, not the merits of the case.
    Average citizens have a right to feel aggrieved as the system is frequently not fair as well as the costs disproportionately favouring the rich who can afford to lose a civil action for damages and play the game with the mice (the rest of us!).
    HarrysOpinion
    15th Jun 2016
    3:21pm
    In the main you are correct Mick.
    jackie
    15th Jun 2016
    11:13am
    OMG It always has.
    Tom Tank
    15th Jun 2016
    11:27am
    It all comes back to the old story of "justice is there for all and the more money you have the more justice you get."
    It has always been thus.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2016
    4:03pm
    Or buy!
    Lisbeth
    15th Jun 2016
    11:36am
    Excellent writing Amelia.
    Amelia
    15th Jun 2016
    11:43am
    Thanks for reading, Lisbeth
    Idontforget
    15th Jun 2016
    11:39am
    In Australia we don't have a 'Justice System', we have a "Legal System'. This enables the Courts to sanctimoniously pay lip service to the victim and bend over backwards to protect the criminal. Sit in Courts or go to http://www.austlii.edu.au/databases.html and read the waffle that goes on in the Criminal Courts. You will see that the victim and their injuries or the financial damage that is done to them is only mentioned in passing. The whole exercise is devoted to ensuring that the offender does not receive some 'crushing' sentence or in the case of multiple offences that they are almost served concurrently with each other.
    Anybody who thinks that in our legal system all is fair lives, sleeps and eats with the fairies at the bottom of the garden. Their is one law for the affluent and well connected and another law for the rest of us.
    And take no notice of our politicians when they unctuously praise the 'rule of law' we allegedly have in this country
    .
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2016
    2:14pm
    Courts (judges, magistrates, etc) are there to interpret the law (an ass) and not justice. So, until such time that the laws are altered to reflect true justice for the offence, AND THE SENTENCES HANDED DOWN ACCORDINGLY (WITHOUT MITIGATION TO THE MONIED AND POPULAR) there will be NO justice for the offence and crimes, felonies, misdeamours, etc will continue to escalate.
    HarrysOpinion
    15th Jun 2016
    3:27pm
    Nearly spot on Idontforget. There is one law for the affluent and well connected, another for strong religions and another for the plebs.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2016
    4:09pm
    I have been watching this 'game' for many decades. Whilst we see those in public office get in front of the cameras and tell people about the maximum sentence the reality is the maximum sentence is a lie. IT IS ALMOST NEVER HANDED OUT. Whilst judges need to have some flexibility they abuse community expectations.
    When aggrieved parties start to hunt down the perpetrators and exact their own just, irrespective of the results on them, then the laws will change overnight as those who are charged with passing down relevant sentences understand that people have had enough.
    Perhaps the other issue not looked at is the cost of incarceration and the fact that we have not built jails to keep up with population growth. Judges would be fully aware that they cannot put too many people in jail for the obvious reason: no room left.
    Rosret
    15th Jun 2016
    11:57am
    Yes. Money talks. A lawyer asks $1000 for a letter. Not court, not legal negotiation just a letter with a letter head and correct legal process adhered to. Wouldn't it be nice if every teacher was paid $1000 per child report or a policeman the same for filing a criminal report. The legal system is phenomenally expensive and you don't go to court without $100K in the bank. However the comparison to the Middle Eastern system is somewhat harsh. Australia has a much fairer system for all people and while our system needs fixing if there is a choice to be made I know where I would prefer to live.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2016
    4:09pm
    I would do it for $500 a letter. Chuckle.....
    tj
    15th Jun 2016
    12:30pm
    What a ridiculous question to ask .It is common knowledge money can buy the type of justice a person wants
    MICK
    15th Jun 2016
    4:10pm
    Some folk might think/believe that justice is served to all. I agree with you though tj.
    KSS
    15th Jun 2016
    1:00pm
    Does the law favour the privileged? No. Does the legal system? Undoubtedly yes. And it is an important distinction. Its all about access affordability.

    If you have a job - any job - then even getting basic legal advice is beyond most. The poor or those on Centrelink payments can at least make an application under legal aid. Those at the other end of the scale can afford to pay for "the best". And it is the calibre of the representation that often makes the difference to the outcome of the case and the guilt or innocence of the accused.

    And then comes sentencing. And I would suggest that is where most people have an issue. Having been found guilty and then let off with a seemingly inappropriately low sentence/punishment is what people react to as in the American rape case outlined in the article. In Australia if you are a high profile sportsperson it would appear that even when found guilty under the law, you would still not receive anything more than a finger wagging.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2016
    4:13pm
    Finger wagging? Thought that was the domain of Malcolm Turnbull (banks? Muslims? etc.). Oh yes...Turnbull was a lawyer in a past life.
    Agree with your post though. Pretty spot on.
    poorwomanme
    15th Jun 2016
    1:54pm
    If you have to ask the question, you are one of those privileged and will never understand the answer.
    Anonymous
    15th Jun 2016
    3:08pm
    Huh?
    ayers
    15th Jun 2016
    2:28pm
    It should be as ideally privilidgeless society at any circumstances. Full Stop. But money is able break the rules as seen everywhere. The system may be so bukalemun type it changes the color instantly to stay afloat and flawless apparently, for example leading to very costly and mind boggling ways and rules toward citizens seeking even own legal rights etc.) There should be free “lawcare” like “medicare” to protect Au citizens everywhere. Who breaks the rules or rights to anyone, should be forced to pay/compensate immediately. The laws must guarantee this no matter how the quilty party hires very skillful and persuading solicitors, relying on their wealth.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2016
    4:15pm
    Money talks. Understood.
    The problem with free legal representation is that you would see people in court every other day. Imagine a couple of bluing neighbours in Mount Druitt?
    Hardworker
    15th Jun 2016
    3:23pm
    In the case of the Dutch woman in Qatar, she did not deserve the sentence she got. However, we should all know by now that certain countries and belief systems lay more blame on the female than the male therefore we should take more care when visiting these places. In this case however it is good to see the male did not get off scot free which so often happens. The spiking of drinks has been an issue for many years and individuals need to take more care no matter where they are.
    In the case of Brock Turner, these families always expect leniency because of who they think they are and what they have achieved but need to look closer at what sort of attitudes they are passing on to their children. The fact that he was found guilty of "raping a 23 year old woman behind a garbage bin while she was unconscious" says it all. He IS a rapist because he basically had sex with a lifeless body. This woman obviously did not participate in the "action". This animalistic attitude towards females indicates that some men have a long way to go in the evolutionary process.
    I do think he received a just sentence but I would probably add the need for a psychiatric assessment to find out why he thought it was OK to have sex with basically a dead body!
    The family they have come from, the school they went to or what they have achieved should have no bearing whatsoever on the case. It is the type of crime that tells the story. Everyone should be treated equally but time and time again you see them show up in court dressed in their finest and playing the good guy, with family and friends and a high powered (and therefore well paid) lawyer who gets them off or gets them a lighter sentence. Pay for the crime no matter who you are is what I say and show some respect for your fellow man/woman.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2016
    4:18pm
    Westerners should boycott some Islamic countries where the system is perverse, not visit it. That way the leaders of those countrie would get the idea that money is not coming to their countries unless westerners are looked after. Most countries do look after tourists and it is well understood that you do not touch tourists.
    Spanna
    16th Jun 2016
    7:14am
    on the whole I agree with you Hardworker except for the sentence, it should have been longer. As for the parents to quote the mother who is obviously very proud of her son, "Stanford boy, college kid, college-athlete" and rightly so, up to the point of rape. I wonder if Stanford are proud of him and their name being bandied about in the media in this way. I also wonder if this is the first time or if other girls were just to scared to take action, knowing that they wouldn't be believed, and made out to have asked for it!!!
    ex PS
    16th Jun 2016
    8:23am
    MICK, totally agree, should we not include the USA, they showed a total disregard for the feelings and well being of the girl who was raped by the privileged white boy.
    This boys parents should be sued for having and encouraging this piece of walking filth.
    Hardworker
    16th Jun 2016
    9:15am
    Correction Spanna. I did not say Brock Turner's sentence should have been longer. I said I would have added the need for a psychiatric assessment. I know we possibly all do silly things when we are young and full of hormones but there is something quite perverse about having sex with a lifeless body! It is clearly not love making!
    ex PS
    16th Jun 2016
    5:25pm
    With any luck this sporting hero will have his own adventure behind the garbage bins while in prison, I am sure that he and his family will forgive the 20 minute youthful indiscretion.
    buby
    16th Jun 2016
    6:07pm
    YES i absolutely agree with you MICK
    JAID
    19th Jun 2016
    9:55am
    I agree with many of your thoughts ex PS but certainly not that in your last post here. This is one which follows disgraceful disgregard of our responsibility and the probity of our exercise of penal detention.

    Some here will shout 'bugger them, they did the crime; they deserve what they get'

    This simply shows disrespect and radically skews what we deem, as a people, to be equitably appropriate response to criminality and it shows extreme disrespect for our courts and government.

    If we send someone to prison we send them away from free society for the protection of society and we aim to 're-condition' them for responsible re-introduction to society. We do not send them away to be bullied and bashed and raped by other prisoners as part of their sentence nor to have them trained by those prisoners. These things are illegal in our community yet we turn a blind eye to them in our prisons out of our own irresponsiblity and the humiliation of our humanity.
    ex PS
    19th Jun 2016
    12:19pm
    JAID, I guess in my effort to show my disgust at the double standards endured by the working folk and the state of grace held by the entitled I fired from the hip. I do agree with your comments but I guess everyone has their week spot and this type of crime and the response from the guardians of society made my blood boil. I do think though that punishment should reflect the type of crime committed. Yes criminals should be rehabilitated but they should also face an appropriate form of punishment at the same time.
    JAID
    19th Jun 2016
    5:08pm
    Yes, enthusiasm I am often guilty of too, ex PS. Sorry, this area is one I easily get onto my hobbyhorse over. With any who cannot or are not deemed to be able to look after themselves we have a special responsibilty but when we actually take it upon ourselves to lock them up that responsibility should be jealously followed.
    Tom Tank
    15th Jun 2016
    3:37pm
    This is a by-product of having the English legal system in Australia where the two sides put forward their "arguments" and a decision is made based upon those arguments.
    A judge is not permitted to ask "but what really happened" he/she must decide based upon the case presented by the respective lawyers.
    MICK
    15th Jun 2016
    4:20pm
    Not really Tom. The problem as I see it is that the lawyers can misrepresent the fact: lie through their teeth. Not because they think the person under attack is lying but rather to get their client off. This is where there needs to be boundaries and where judges should intervene and say 'enough'.
    ex PS
    16th Jun 2016
    8:29am
    Maybe the answer is to let the individuals put forward the arguments instead of the judge hearing the legal representatives version of the arguments, what's wrong with getting the facts from the horses mouths so to speak?
    A court should be there to get to the truth not to decide who could afford the most justice.
    bandy
    15th Jun 2016
    6:22pm
    Money always wins out this system works every time this happend just recently where I live.Drunk driver kills Tuk Tuk driver result drunk driver who was a goverment official paid $2000 compensation end of problem for drunk driver.So as I ssid if you hàve the money.I hope this wont happen in Aus!!!!!
    Strummer
    16th Jun 2016
    8:07am
    Thanks Amelia, interesting article. I'm not an advocate for sharia law but it can't be all bad. Imagine how different our country would be if there was a total, and strictly enforced ban on addictive drugs of all kinds.
    ex PS
    16th Jun 2016
    8:16am
    If justice in this country is fair and everyone has an equal chance of winning a court case if they were in the right, why do the wealthy fork out tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to engage legal professionals.
    Tell me that a teenager with a Public Defender has an equal chance against a professional type person with a $2.000.00 an hour brief.
    I truly believe that in civil cases a local tribunal with a government appointed adviser should be used, with lawyers allowed to give advise but not allowed to plead the case. This would even things up and allow all the facts to be heard and considered.
    In the case of the rich American brat who decided to take advantage of a young women who apparently was incapable of giving her consent, rape is rape, if a poor kid would have served 10 years so should he. As far as his potential is concerned, he may have the potential to become an Olympic Athlete, but he has also proven that he has the potential to be a serial rapist, especially if he gets the impression that he can get away with it. This case demonstrates how legal systems can be corrupted by money and influence.
    As far as the young women assaulted in Qatar, she is possibly a victim in two ways, and I know I will be crucified by a certain part of the community for saying this but here goes. In this western societies young women are told that they have a right to walk around dressed as they like , in any part of our towns that they like and to talk and act exactly as they like. In a perfect world this would be OK but we are not in a perfect world we as individuals have to take responsibility for our own safety. It looks like this poor girl visited a country that is known for its anti feminine culture and placed herself in harms way, she did not deserve what happened, and in no way should the people involved get away scott free, but when you travel to other countries you must do the research and modify your behavior, my wife and I traveled and stayed in the United Emirates a few years back and had no problems, but we studied the social culture of the area well before we went and made the appropriate modifications to our dress and behavior.
    Ausdigga
    16th Jun 2016
    9:14am
    I was under the impression that the rape in Quatar was facilitated by the woman being drink spiked not by not wearing a burqua
    ex PS
    16th Jun 2016
    5:19pm
    No, but in that culture if a lone female is seen drinking alone in a bar or club she can become a target. Like I said you have to be aware of your surroundings and take responsibility for your own safety. Not fair, not right but unfortunately a fact.
    There are certain parts of most cities that people just do not go to after nightfall, it does not matter if you are male or female common sense tells you not to take the risk. Yes you have every right to go to these places and yes you should be able to go wherever you like in a free country, but for the sake of self preservation common sense says don't do it.
    BundyGil
    16th Jun 2016
    5:57pm
    Many of the problems of the Western world can be attributed to unequal treatment before the law, where laws can be subverted by highly paid lawyers arguing wrinkles in interpretation to advanatge their rich clients .
    Things like tax laws where highly paid lawyers make it possible for corporations to pay little or no tax with that burden falling on the rest of the population. Then instanced like the trial of Oscar Pistorius, where high priced lawyers bought up ridiculous, but sort of plausible arguments in his support that blind Freddy could were total bullshit, but were bought by a naïve, or probably corrupt, judge, fortunately appealed after a very justifiable public outcry. Very similar in style to Brock Turner's case. A continuing saga of wealth and privilege subverting justice unavailable to the rest of society.
    JAID
    19th Jun 2016
    9:37am
    There are too many alternative possibilities and too little knowledge in hand to suggest these examples indicate anything resembling favour.

    One thing does stand out. While some suggest the punishment is too light in the American case they accept that the court accurately determined the sequence of events and the nature of the crime. At the same time the do not afford the Court in Doha the same 'respect.'

    There is an odd thing about the Doha sentence. That is that while for both parties, the sex was considered illicit, the punishment was lighter for the woman than the man. Whether or not females are lashed there I do not know but if the lighter sentence reflects any perception that the sex may not have been consentual then the judgement would be open to the criticism directed toward it in the Western media.

    Regardless, the 'What If's' would involve far to much conjecture to be taken seriously. I suggest that views given here should reflect accurate collected data personal, experience or simply be views but not be raised as a consequence of these two cases.

    19th Jun 2016
    11:20am
    Try to enforce a warranty claim on a motor vehicle, to which you should be rightfully entitled, and which the manufacturer refuses to consider, and you will soon find that the law favours corporations and the well-heeled, over anyone with little money.

    The sad part is that you can be 100% in the right, but it costs you vast sums of money to prove it in court - and even if you do manage by some miracle to get costs awarded, you will often never get those costs paid.


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