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The Forum > General Discussion > The law is an ass

The law is an ass

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In NSW a police officer pulled over a Muslim female motorist wearing a full face covering. He asked her to remove the mask as to identify her as the legal holder of the driverís license she presented. She objected strenuously calling the officer a racist, but did eventually comply.

This socially divisive mother of seven young Australians then accused the officer of physical assault by forcibly removing her face covering, and in tow with Guantanimo Bay survivor Mando Habib went to the police to file a complaint. The video recording of the incident was replayed and she was found to have fabricated the event and was subsequently charged with making false allegations against a police officer. She was of course found guilty and received a six month jail term.

On appeal yesterday the charges were dropped as the judge said that because she was wearing a mask when she made the complaint (in tow with Habib, he wore no mask) it is not beyond doubt that it was her wearing the mask and formalizing the complaint.

Judge Jefferies decided to disregard the fact that she never denied making the claim against the officer and went on to overturn the finding on the presumption that it could have been Bob Hawke wearing the mask and filing the complaint, is this finding not incredulous and pandering. People are convicted of murder on circumstantial evidence because the logic of the chain of events and the circumstantial evidence incriminating them is evident to blind Freddy.

That the police officers did not ask the liar to remove the mask when making the false complaint shows how inhibited the police as individuals feel when dealing with identification issues when it come to mask wearing Muslim women. Blind Justice indeed, definitely predicated on the politically correct social issue of the individualís right to be a mask wearing Muslim in our mask less society.

Thank you Judge Jefferies.
Posted by sonofgloin, Tuesday, 21 June 2011 9:09:25 AM
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Being the racist and bigot some call me.
I hoped some one else would post this thread, so thank you!
If we saw the crowd outside the court, racist or was it religious zealotry?
Celebrating this Lady's victory?
Or heard the roll played in the whole matter by that well known pair of Celebrity Muslim defenders Trad and Habib.
Just maybe those who condemn me, would be forced to admit, If she was White and Australian,no one would have ANY TROUBLE in branding her a Bogan trouble maker.
Again thanks for the thread , but stand by for the insults coming your,and my way.
As a post script find the words used by two NSW magistrates who are currently trying to save their jobs.
Both claim mental illness as a defense both spoke to people in far harsher terms than some before them on charges for such ever did.
And both offer evidence our system is infected with unrepresentative fools on the bench.
Posted by Belly, Wednesday, 22 June 2011 8:25:36 AM
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I think this is a massive own-goal for supporters of the right to wear the burqa or niqab in Australia. Police officers should have the capacity to identify people, and it is not unreasonable for them to ask someone wearing a burqa (or Mickey Mouse mask for that matter) to require that it be removed under certain circumstances.

Religious or other beliefs are insufficient justification for denying identification where this is required of those who don't share those beliefs. I disagree that the law is an ass in this instance, however. My prediction is that this ruling will lead directly to legislation that will remove this inconsistency. Perhaps that was the Judge's intent.

Lastly, the behaviour of the appellant's supporters outside the court was repulsive.
Posted by morganzola, Wednesday, 22 June 2011 9:11:26 AM
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If my memory serves me correctly Australia already has a Law that deals with this. Abeit it's a very old Law but it states that something like, "It's offence to be out at night wearing a mask, striped shirt & slippers." Strange but true.
Posted by Jayb, Wednesday, 22 June 2011 9:22:06 AM
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Sounds to me like a procedural issue.

I am not a lawyer, but I have always understood that the Appeals Court can find purely on the facts of law and legal procedure, and is not required to determine whether the circumstances surrounding the original case were "right" or "wrong". Which presumably is why "the fact that she never denied making the claim against the officer" was not taken into consideration - it was irrelevant to the grounds of the appeal.

If the process of validating the complaint was not completed according to the legal requirements - in this case, properly identifying the complainant - then the appeal was correctly upheld.

Which of course says nothing about the validity of the lower court's original decision concerning the conduct of the person involved.

If the law is an ass in this case, then it is to do with the rules governing what an Appeal Court is allowed to determine.

Of course, not being a lawyer, I might be entirely wrong. Put it down to having watched too many cop shows on TV.
Posted by Pericles, Wednesday, 22 June 2011 9:40:50 AM
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If the news report I heard last night was correct, the judge in the appeal in question is going to deliver his reasons for judgement today. It is premature to be either condemning this decision, or rejoicing in it, dependent upon one's feelings with respect to claimed rights to cover the face in public in Australia.

Two things are already clearly evident. One is that a loud-mouthed, probably female, trouble-maker was obstructive and abusive to a policeman while that policeman was legitimately attempting to confirm that the person presenting a driver's licence (the loud-mouth) was in fact the person shown in the photo ID thereon. This became evident as a consequence of a false claim (one potentially seriously damaging to the reputation of the policeman concerned) which was subsequently made as to the policeman's conduct during the incident, the investigation of which revealed to the court, and now all of Australia, a full photographic and audio record of the incident that showed nothing of what had been falsely claimed had taken place!

The second thing evident is that an otherwise thoroughly respectable conviction and sentence for the attempt to falsely accuse the policeman involved of misconduct has been quashed on appeal on the intrinsically respectable technical grounds that it was not possible to be sure that the person shown in the photographic record was in fact the layer of the false complaint, BECAUSE HER FACE HAD NEVER BEEN ABLE TO BE SEEN AT EITHER RELEVANT TIME!

The appeal judge has doubtless done Australia a great service in making this formal decision, because it is one that cannot be ignored.

The decision highlights not only the necessity of a policeman being able to demand to see a person's face in any public place, but of an obligation resting upon ALL persons of being facially identifiable to ANY person who might ordinarily become to be a witness in a public place.

Something must now be done about the 'right' to cover the face in public, and BO'F has the mandate to do it.
Posted by Forrest Gumpp, Wednesday, 22 June 2011 11:36:25 AM
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