File this under "Headlines that left you speechless"

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Re: File this under "Headlines that left you speechless"

Postby Quatermass » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:37 pm

And more on that subject...

http://bigpondnews.com/articles/TopStories/2012/10/04/Two_sisters_removed_from_flight_-_aunt_802295.html

Clearly, there's a big gap between the law and justice.
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Re: File this under "Headlines that left you speechless"

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:39 am

There certainly is a big gap Q, but with family cases you don't get the full picture because it's essentially not an area of law at all (it's simply a legal process that's part and parcel of ending a marriage) and because of that it is not dealt with publicly unless there has been a criminal act. The criminal act here was the mother effectively abducting the children - taking them out of Italy, probably with the father's full consent or at the very least with a court order allowing her to do so if he wouldn't agree, for a one month holiday and not going back.

Put it in reverse with an Italian mother taking her kids out of their home in Australia for a 'holiday' and refusing to bring them back. :| That's what the Hague Convention is all about and why Australia's a signatory and complies with the rules. If there was a valid and pressing reason concerning the children's well-being (especially the younger ones) for not returning them to the country that has jurisdiction (Italy) then the Australian court would not have ordered the children's return, or not without a lot of reports and investigation, which I believe was done in this case. The father may indeed be a rectal sphincter and have turned his village against the mother, but the fact is that the kids are Italian, not Australian and she'd agreed to joint custody when they divorced. Divorce law is pretty standard internationally these days and most countries who sign up for the Hague Convention have a system for the financially distressed to get representation to do these things in an ordered and civilised way, without the histrionics this case seems to have prompted. Plus you're only getting the mother's side of this not the father's. It's truly awful that the girls are so distressed but at least part of that is down to the mother's actions in breaking the law, even if she doesn't see it that way. :?
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Re: File this under "Headlines that left you speechless"

Postby Quatermass » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:21 am

The children were screaming as they were being taken away from their mother by the AFP (which isn't going to do much for their public image) on the news. That should tell you more than anything what the right side is. The father was stated repeatedly to be abusive many times during this.
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Re: File this under "Headlines that left you speechless"

Postby Margi » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:51 pm

I understand that in this country the children have a say in which parent they live with. I don't know if that applies elsewhere or not.

Jan, the children are Australian - they have dual nationality the report says. Australian and Italian.

I'd love to know the undercurrents and realities that makes such a thing happen, i.e. to get behind the media headlines.
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Re: File this under "Headlines that left you speechless"

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:19 pm

Quatermass wrote:The children were screaming as they were being taken away from their mother by the AFP (which isn't going to do much for their public image) on the news. That should tell you more than anything what the right side is. The father was stated repeatedly to be abusive many times during this.

Yes I read that and there could any number of reasons for that, not least that they've been in mum's care for well over a year and had all kinds of acid poured in their ears about their father and his family - it's not black and white and this women had five children was it with him? (one of them died which it seems was what sparked the marriage breakdown) so she must have liked him a little bit to start with... :?
Children of broken relationships go through a lot of shit and it's very hard to judge from the outside who's responsible for some or all of it but it's a very rare case when it's entirely all on the part of one parent. This is why courts are involved in settling divorces and the arrangement made for the children. This marriage ended and joint custody was awarded which is normal in most countries in this day and age and, by implication, means the parents have come to some mutual agreement. In this case the father I understand had principal charge of the kids residence - that's unusual, especially in Italy and again presumably there was a reason for that that the mother may not have liked but had agreed to.

She then says she's taking them on holiday - in these cases the other parent, especially if the kids reside with them, have to agree to that so he must have done that too. Then she keeps them in Australia when she must have promised to bring them back... That's clear cut abduction but even then the Hague Convention will take mitigation into account and the reciprocating country, in this case Australia, can overule the order to return children to the original jurisdiction (Italy) if there is a proven and satisfactorily established reason for them not to be - e.g. maltreatement of some stamp. The Austrtalia court has found that there is no such evidence and so they have rightly decided to return the children to their father.

Margi wrote:I understand that in this country the children have a say in which parent they live with. I don't know if that applies elsewhere or not.

Jan, the children are Australian - they have dual nationality the report says. Australian and Italian.

I'd love to know the undercurrents and realities that makes such a thing happen, i.e. to get behind the media headlines.

In Australia as Del will tell you, there are different statutes under State and Federal Law that govern family law. As I understand it it's mostly done by a divorce agreement on residence and visitation rights and the children don't get too much of a say in who they go to because it's ostensibly done by mutual parental consent.
Dual nationality is not a factor in this case. The children were born in Italy and have lived there all their lives up to the point of being taken to Australia (maybe they had family holidays abroad before but abduction wasn't an issue for those). The parent divorced in Italy and the courts there have jurisdiction over the divorce settlement. Legally the Italian courts have precedence and as a signatory to the Hague Convention the Australian have a duty to cede to the court of origin unless there is sufficient evidence to suggest the children's lives are in some kind of peril if returned. That's why I said think about if the situation had been reversed? :?

If there's no good reason to overturn the court of origin's decision then the next time an Australian child is abducted out of the jurisdiction the affected parent might find it very hard indeed to retrieve them in similar circumstances, which is why the Australian court in this case delayed the children's return for a few months while they worked with the Italian authorities to determine whether there was any substance to the mother's allegations against the father. You simply do not know what those investigation brought to light but you can take it as read that they were scrupulous and thorough. They obviously found that there was not sufficient reason to accept the mother's allegations, the only ones that have been broadcast by her, not the court who are not obliged to disclose the working of a case like this. I'm sorry but there was patently no evidence to support what the mother has been claiming and so no legal reason to prevent the children returning to Italy.

I really feel sorry for all the girls, but think about what's actually happened with these girls in the last few days. It's the 2 eldest (and presumably teenage) children who were so hysterical they had to be taken off the flight. The 2 youngest, who presumably would be more emotionally upset at being separated from their mother were not so hysterical as to be removed. There has clearly been a lot of emotional behaviour involved on the part of the mother and of course this will effect the girls. High emotion can be used to manipulate any situation. Teenagers are notoriously unstable and capable of manipulating situations emotionally as they evidently did on the plane. This is why it's the courts who decide what is in childrens best interests where the parents are at each other's throats. What they don't do is separate children from a genuinely loving parent for no good reason. A genuinely loving, rational parent in this situation would also attempt to minimise the distress their child(ren) were going through in an impossible scenario and try not to upset them so spectacularly as this mother has been doing all along. Not saying she doesn't love her children to bits, but knowing how courts decide these things, having constant hysterics in and out of the courtroom does not shout out responsible parent does it?

It's family law. It's not done in public for a reason because these things are delicate and children's welfare should not dealt with in public unless there's severe criminal activity involved. The Hague Convention does not operate in public for that reason and the offending parent is generally not criminalised whether or not they broke a court order. So you're only getting one side of the story here it seems and it's all coming from a woman who seems to relish emotional scenes and seeking press attention to create a media cause celebre.

I dealt with Hague Convention cases as a court clerk from both sides where children had been illegally taken from or were brought into the UK from a reciprocating country. In either scenario details of the case very rarely made it to the papers or media because family law is not a public matter except in exceptional circumstances. Is it possible that with only side shrieking out the odds that there's more to this than you're going to find out about? :ugeek:
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Re: File this under "Headlines that left you speechless"

Postby Del » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:52 pm

Boy oh boy! I could go on and on about this case.

Jan is right. Thats the pure and simple of it.

I love the Hague Convention. It stops my ex-arse talking my daughter to the Philipinnes (who haven't signed it).. well doesnt stop him but puts a brake on him effectively (and I do suppose we will face that court case at some stage or other).

Here in Australia the children do NOT have a voice about who they want to live with. It was changed a few years ago so that parents who poisoned the children to the father (because usually the mother got custody) can be very effective on young minds. We actually dont even have the terms custody and access. Parenting is a full two way street. Its joint custody. Even parents in prison have a say in what happens to their children and in their upbringing. Even parents who do not have "access" have a say and its a very very very big thing to get that shared parenting cut off in any way. (Yeah gods I am shaking just talking about this! Go figure)

Edit: though NOW new laws are at this minute being passed to revoke alot of those laws because the laws have swung too far in favour of the father (who usually has a higher wage and more access to lawyers) and mothers have had children taken off them or declared unfit ... because of the stress the court cases have put on them and their inability to get legal representation for what is Federal law cases. They are FINALLY going to allow some admission to court about abuse (which is State law and not generally admissable in Federal court cases except in exceptional cases).

The press made a huge deal out of the fact that the children were given a voice through a court psychologist. And then made a huge deal that these kids were okay going back to the father so the mother must be lying. MY children were given a court psychologist in the end too..... And they were not believed, and in alot of ways that has destroyed them more than any other part of this whole mess... and is one of the biggest challenges I face with them... to give them back a trust in any system that may protect them in the future because they dont believe it will ever again. And they are smart enough to know that he knows it too and thats a dangerous position to be in.

I was in tears watching those children being man-handled into the cars.... but its a fact of life... this is just one time it was filmed. It happens many many times every day that children are taken from parents for a variety of reasons and its traumatic and emotional and I pity the officers who have to do it. (and I have known them personally). I didnt think for a minute that those children would calm down on the flight or would be allowed to travel. They were far too traumatised and they got what they wanted.... NOT to fly out on that flight. But they would have been calmed and councelled and put on another flight... that was always going to happen.

The part that really disturbed me is this.. and remember I am looking at this from a very personal point of view.....

I dont know what dark place that mother might be in (because it was a very dark place for me).... but when you see the final curtain coming and you KNOW what is going to happen, my first and most important priority was to make H aware and calm about it. The court actually ordered me that H would be happy to go to her fathers. It was unbelievable to me as a parent to be ordered to do that (but I see where they were coming from)... for me as a mother, I would have done it in any case; because I would never want her to be dragged kicking and screaming if she didnt want to get in the car (and that is what would have happened).... so we spent ALOT of time making her feel good about going back to dads (though I felt ill doing so), and when she got upset or worried we assured her she could talk about it with us, I took her on casual visits with me to a center with councelling and let her get to know the people while she played "waiting for mummy to do HER counselling" and then introduced HER to someone she felt comfortable with (mind you the court ordered councelling to make her okay with going too) but I had initiated this before that ruling came down.

No matter how traumatised I was by everything that had happened I had no right to pass that onto H.

My two older daughters who knew first hand how bad this man is, enthusiastically joined in in encouraging H to find the best things about going back to visit her father because even they understood that what was going to happen was going to happen and the BEST thing to do for H was for her NOT to be the screaming terrified children we all saw with those girls going to Italy. She would go calmly and we would deal with the aftermath when she returned (if it eventuated at all). Well it does... and every second Sunday we deal with it. Not so bad sometimes and not so good other times. Every time she comes home we are upbeat about her visit and ask her for the best parts of her stay.... if she needs to talk about the bad bits she does and we listen.. but we do still try to stay upbeat. Last night she cried for an hour... but we will deal with it and she shall go back happily in two weeks, because I cannot send her off already psyched up.

So I see one side of it.... but I think that mother owed her children a calmer transition than that and should have been working towards that for a long time. But as I said.. I cant imagine where her head is at right now. I was judged unfairly and wrongly (and I KNOW I am a good mother)... I cant imagine how it is to be in the spotlight with a sensationalist and ill informed press. I do know I would be on the first flight back to Italy so I could be there for them with access visits if thats what is going to happen. I wouldnt care how much I hated it I would BE there.

Just one more point... it came out today that the Australian Consulate in Italy actually helped the mother hide from the father while they were in Italy and actually got them out of the country in the first place.
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Re: File this under "Headlines that left you speechless"

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:08 pm

Image Oh Del - you really are a remarkable woman and a fantastic mum and of course all your girls know that. Image

I've never been a parent but, from the experiences I've had working in the family courts for nearly 30 years I think I've seen nearly every facet of good and bad parenting and I do know that there's no legal system anywhere that's best, but at least they evolve and try to to be fair and balanced over what happens when a family falls apart. Somehow the children have to be supported through that and really there are no winners in that, certainly not the kids who just want their family to be back the way it was more often than not. I'm very glad to hear that Australian family law's going through another sea change as what you and your girls had to go through was insane and the legal logic sounded so stone-hard and inflexible.

This is a very unusual case and seems to highlight the utter confusion caused where situations like this roller coaster out of control. Obviously there is something deeply wrong in what happened that's not been helped by all the media speculation and second guessing of the legal process that's gone on. It's one thing to have sympathy for a distraught mother and deep sorrow for the distress the girls have been put through during this whole affair, but very little seems to have come out for the father's viewpoint and for the extended family back Italy, who must also have been out of their minds with worry when their little girls didn't come back. There must have been lies or at least gross exaggeration of the true facts going on in there at some point, but emotional conflict like this does really strange things to people heads when they're mature, let alone when they're 9 years old.

It's all very sad and the mother has virtually painted herself into a corner over this now, because it's highly unlikely that she'll be seeing her daughters for some time now and will probably have to wait a good while for her daughters to reach an age where they can decide for themselves where they want to live. This experience will not help anyone in this family in either country in the long term, but it's sadly the mother who'll most likely pay most for it in emotional terms, which is probably a kind of justice as she put herself in this position and in the way of all this trauma and hurt by making such drastic choices. I hope they all can recover from all this horrendous furore in time, especially the girls, and that life is now calm and kind to them away from the intrusion of cameras and officials alike. :pray:
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Re: File this under "Headlines that left you speechless"

Postby Quatermass » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:47 pm

"What have you been doing since you stole that antique TARDIS of yours, since you first landed on Skaro? Shouting 'Look at me!!! I'm not fighting a war!', while you battle the Daleks all the way through space and time."

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Re: File this under "Headlines that left you speechless"

Postby Quatermass » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:10 pm

Oh, and further proof that the father in that Italo-Australian custody spat is in the wrong morally came when I watched the news this morning. Two of the daughters tried to escape his villa in Italy, and said (to media at the gates of the villa) that they weren't being allowed to contact their mother.

This is further proof that there is a wide gap between the law and justice. And in this case, at least, the usual ambiguity of family law is non-existent. There is no confusion, save in the addled minds of the judges in this case. A confusion exploited by the people in the wrong.
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Re: File this under "Headlines that left you speechless"

Postby Quatermass » Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:08 pm

In lighter news, the latest in the Alan Jones saga has left me speechless...with schadenfreude!

http://bigpondnews.com/articles/National/2012/10/07/Alan_Jones_to_lose_his_sponsored_Merc_803019.html?cid=ZBP_NEWS_L_L1_Alan_Jones_to_lose_his_sponsored_Merc_071012

:laughing-rofl: :laughing-rofl: :laughing-rofl: :laughing-rofl:

Oh Lord, won't you buy him a Mercedes Benz? :lol:
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Re: File this under "Headlines that left you speechless"

Postby Watchman44 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:45 am

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/0 ... Lid=216576

And this guy is on the House science committee?
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Re: File this under "Headlines that left you speechless"

Postby Tonyblack » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:15 am

And on the eighth day, God created idiots. Even God like to laugh now and again. :lol:
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Re: File this under "Headlines that left you speechless"

Postby Quatermass » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:18 am

Tonyblack wrote:And on the eighth day, God created idiots. Even God like to laugh now and again. :lol:


Maybe so, but it's no laughing matter when the population of what is debatably the most powerful nation in the world vote these people into office! :shock: :o

Let's see, where's that speech from the comic book of V for Vendetta...?
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Re: File this under "Headlines that left you speechless"

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:51 am

Quatermass wrote:Oh, and further proof that the father in that Italo-Australian custody spat is in the wrong morally came when I watched the news this morning. Two of the daughters tried to escape his villa in Italy, and said (to media at the gates of the villa) that they weren't being allowed to contact their mother.

This is further proof that there is a wide gap between the law and justice. And in this case, at least, the usual ambiguity of family law is non-existent. There is no confusion, save in the addled minds of the judges in this case. A confusion exploited by the people in the wrong.

Q - what I'm finding hard to understand now is that you appear, most uncharacteristically, to have fallen entirely for trial by media? Image Everything you're bringing to this thread is entirely from the viewpoint of the mother and the journalists who're milking the 'story' for all it's worth - still. Why would the courts in Australia ignore all these allegations so consistently and, according to the reports that are being peddled by what seems to be the equivalent of the gutter press (at least - in fact they sound more like the worst of the world's supermarket rags... :evil: ), sending these children back to who knows what kind of abuse. In fact, let's pause a few seconds here to consider what this abuse actually consists of? :roll: With all the hype raised now what exactly is this man supposed to have done to his daughters? Sent them to bed early after a long tiring flight instead of letting them use the phone for a tearful 'chat' with mum, or beaten them to a pulp (thus preventing them going to the gates of their villa to whine to the Ozzie paparazzi who're pursuing them?). I bet 'some of the girls' were the two who were taken off the original flight, weren't they? But then I'm well known for being psychic... :roll:

I've yet to read anything truly and specifically bad about the father reported in the snippets linked to in this thread, despite the horrendous bias for the mother's 'story' and, judging from the length of the time the girls were wrongfully kept in Australia, he's far from the rich bully he's depicted as, because I suspect most of the last year was spent in trying to secure legal aid for advice and to prosecute with expensive international lawyers to sort this mess out. Think about the sources you're reading for a few minutes and entertain the idea that actually there might other evidence in this case that is far more compelling for professional jurists who're obliged to interpret all the facts and not just the weeping and gnashing of teeth which makes for great copy and photos, but can just as easily be manipulative and misleading...?

Ever doubted the 'facts' of a good conspiracy theory? Or held a strong dose of cynicism for what you've read in the papers? :roll: I know you have, so why can't the possibility that there could be a very teensy bit of misrepresentation going on here, that means 'justice' hasn't been applied? Whose 'story' is most convincing - the one plastered all over the press or the one not publicised at all in a court case that should not be reported because it is a civil and PRIVATE matter :? What's happening in this case it seems, is a gross misrepresentation, even if you don't have much knowledge of legal systems.
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Re: File this under "Headlines that left you speechless"

Postby Quatermass » Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:58 pm

JVQ, I believe that the screams and terror of the children are honest enough, despite everything else in this case. Maybe I have fallen victim to trial by media, but quite frankly, if the husband won't say anything beyond denials (which is different to a rebuttal, which I would actually consider) and a plea for privacy, then he ain't helping his case. And considering that the Aussie consulate helped the woman get out of the country in the first place, doesn't that suggest that there was some grain of truth? You only go to a consulate if you are in bad trouble. A consulate can provide you with a passport and passage out of the country. Why go to a consulate if everything was hunky-dory with the Italian hubby?

And what the courts think is irrelevant, as I don't think they have a spectacular track record of dealing competently with family law. Like I said before, there is a ridiculously large gap between law and justice.

Anyway, regarding this subject: bored now.
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