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So where did justice jump ship?

Australia began its legal system by adopting common law from the United Kingdom, quite a good system, we enjoyed the presumption of innocence, the right to remain silent, the courts were open courts of record to ensure transparency and trial by way of a jury of our peers ensured legal precedents moved forward in line with social values and community expectations.

The Constitution was written to define the roles of the courts and the parliaments both state and commonwealth, to ensure a separation of powers, and it was written with common law in mind.

Just over 100 years later, all that is gone, when did that happen? Who changed it and why are very pertinent questions. Could common-law still be there, just ignored with the intent of empowering those who benefit from its silence?

The writers of the constitution would never have thought that parliament itself would at some stage in the future try and undermine justice, the constitution and our system of common-law, because if they had, just maybe they would have ensured more refined protections were included in our founding document.

To control the legal system, all they need do is take away our protections, take away the presumption of innocence, trial by jury, the right to remain silent and override common-law precedent with laws of the parliament, and this they have achieved.

Going further it became important that the people do not know what is going on, and that savvy educated individuals could not beat their corrupted system. This best is achieved by ensuring no records are kept and that access to the courts could be controlled, taking away any witnesses to injustice and support for those who dare fight to protect their innocence.

In recent times people have recorded what goes on and released that on the internet, so now most if not all courts have electronic jamming devices to ensure their secrecy is kept, and they now deny entry to anyone other than the defendant.

So let’s say you are in court, witness corruption or ignorance of the law, you have no proof, making it easy to label you a sore loser, if you expose what happened, because there may be no record or witnesses to the truth.

When parliament started writing law, through every increasing and complex legislation, those who dare fight to prove their innocence would have little chance of understanding their written law, and if they did learn or in-fact beat the system, parliament need only make changes to ensure that never happened again, going as far as removing the presumption of innocence, the right to remain silent, the right to have support (Mckenzies friend) even the right to face and question ones accuser.

The nasty side effect of all this, is that not only do we have no rights or protections, but with so many new laws being written every week, we can break one before we even knew it existed.

Justice cannot work under secrecy, it cannot be written into legislation, nor can it operate with in a court system that has its hands bound by self-interest.

Most legislation now presumes you are guilty leaving you to prove otherwise, for instance traffic law, you are guilty of speeding, and if the police follow procedure you have no defence, if you are caught driving un registered, there is simply no defence under the legislation, even if it is another’s car or you checked the vehicle was registered in the morning, this is further complicated by the fact we no longer have the protection of a registration label, which once needed to be returned before registration could be cancelled.

Making matters worse, if the police prosecution find out you have evidence against them, they can simply come to your home and seize everything, paper work, videos, computers and mobile phones, leaving you in the court without paper work or supporting evidence.

Laws passed in SA (SOCCA) allow secret evidence to be used against you, so you cannot even dispute allegations or face/question your accuser.

The courts are also now used as a tool by many authorities including the police to intimidate or simply undermine your good name, they can press charges without any hope of success and drag you along for the ride, simply dropping the case just before trial, and you are left with the legal bills.

Other authorities can use the court process to improve their financial position, they keep on adjourning until you run out of money, then go for a plea bargain, or in the case of the RSPCA they can charge exorbitant storage fees, in a recent case those fees have near reached 1 million dollars without a trial date in sight.

Recent legislation has been produced to protect the very people abusing the system, just in case they are caught out, just like the politicians themselves enjoy parliamentary priviledge.

The big boys just can’t lose, if the RSPCA fails in the courts, and there is a credible damages claim against them, the government are responsible as their inspectors are working for the government, leaving the tax payer to cover the costs, the same applies for the police; they have nothing to lose if they mismanage a case or simply use dodgy charges as a method to intimidate, because once again you pay through your taxes.

If you were to dispute a fine, spend the huge money required to win the case therefore proving your innocence, there is no avenues in many jurisdictions to reclaim costs, so the winner fast becomes a loser in every case.

In more important cases, where your only safety from the possibly of corruption in the courts is to choose trial by jury, again there are many reports of these avenues being denied.

Interestingly if you dare bring up the constitution in our courts, the best you will get is a laugh, if you bring up the equally opportunity act, the United Nations declaration of human rights or any other document that purports to protect your rights, expect to be laughed out of court.

The only option we have to remedy all this is a Bill of rights, that we attach to the constitution, it must be retrospective on all legislation, so as to restore justice, but that my friends is also controlled by parliament and the judiciary, the very people that have worked tirelessly to take the idea of justice away from you.

Mark Aldridge

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