Monday, June 27, 2016


Running a blog is more effectively done by putting out one's articles on my Facebook page (under my name).

I use FACEBOOK only to post general information (not for personal information or comments) so I decided that instead of attempting to run a blog I would put out all of our comments on:

Access to my Facebook posts is unrestricted and open to any member of the public with access to the internet.

I invite all of you visiting this Blog via our firm's webpage to refer to the link above instead with immediate effect.

Ezequiel Trumper

Parental Alienation is Child Abuse - Should this form of abuse be also criminalised?

In my legal practice, I see this way too often.Please visit the site below which illustrates this clearly.
It is a real tragedy. A parent using a child against the other parent by inciting a child (not necessarily small children, but also grown adolescents) to 'break away' from the other parent. Courts in Australia are not generally well equipped to deal with this issue and some of the ICL (independent child lawyers) one comes across fail to recognize it and act accordingly (their quality, in my opinion, is also not the best, being a lowly paid job by lawyers' standards).
Up to not long ago, bullying and harassment claims were not legally recognized by the courts. These days such claims give right to hefty compensation claims sanctioned by the courts for the psychiatric and even crippling damage suffered by the victims. Yet these claims, even a decade ago, were rare if not unheard of. Today they are common.
I believe that the epidemic of vindictive child abusers disguised as 'caring' parents who 'coach' and 'work' their children to 'break away' from the other parent will give rise to hefty civil claims in the future against the abuser parent from the children themselves (once they grow up and get old enough to acknowledge what their parents have done to them) and also from the targeted parents who have suffered the unbearable pain of being rejected by their own children and who would have the right to make multi-million dollar claims against the parent who incited the 'break away'. From an evidentiary perspective, this may present some difficulties but hardly insurmountable.
It is only a matter of time and it would not surprise me if there is a civil case already in process in our system. Once one targeted parent or child prevails against the abuser parent who caused such a devastating damage and sets a precedent there will be an avalanche because the problem is far too common. There are thousands of silent victims (children and targeted parents alike) while the abuser parents who inflicted the pain enjoy an impunity which courts will have to start acknowledging and redressing.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

An inexplicable double dissolution election in the longest campaign

Why did Malcolm Turnbull call for an election campaign of 8 weeks (the longest in modern Australia, if not ever)?

By doing so, he gave the Opposition a lot more air time in the media than they would have had otherwise as equal time has to be allocated, by law, to both major parties. He didn't have to do this.

By doing so, he effectively relinquished the right to govern and to make any government decisions as a result of the care taking conventions.

By doing so, he gave up the right to set the agenda that the incumbent administration always does using the levelers of office.

By doing so, in the middle of winter, he draws attention to themselves at a time the polls were turning against the Coalition without any realistic chance of turning the tides.

It is a decision which I find incomprehensible from a political perspective. It feels like politics on the run, without any strategic focus. If the Government has had one, Turnbull would have called for an early election by the end of summer, still riding high in the polls.

Why did he call for a Double Dissolution Election?

The reason to call for a double dissolution election was to ensure that we would have a more cooperative Senate. Yet, what were the real chances of that happening? The reality is that now the quota for some 'independent' or rogue non-aligned nobody to get elected to the Senate is lower than in a normal election.

So again, it smacks of improvisation, politics on the run. It is difficult to understand from someone who is clearly intelligent but more used to being corporate warrior than cunning political operative.

To make things even more ridiculous, the excuse given for the double dissolution was the rejection by the Senate of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) legislation which most people in the electorate have no idea what it says. Further, it has no impact at all on their lives. To add to the absurdity of this situation, now even deep into the election campaign Turnbull does not even mention, let alone explain, what the ABCC is or was about. He does not even remind the electorate why we are here, in this campaign, at all.

If you asked the average punter in the street what the ABCC is about, they wouldn't have a clue.

It doesn't augur well. I think Turnbull will win the election despite not being a professional politician and being a weak campaigner perceived as aloof by most voters according to the polls. Yet a narrow victory will leave him with a weak mandate, a reduce majority and deep unrest within the Liberal Party's ranks. It is not a good recipe for stable, sensible government.

And it is not  a good picture when Australia's economy is not going well, large budget deficits are going up exponentially, and the almost certainty that within a few months Australia's AAA credit rating will be a thing of the past.

Australia is the lucky country, but it is about time it starts making its own luck.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

About time Rugby Union, this brutal and dangerous sport recognizes the harm it causes in the 21st century. Kids should not be allowed to play it at school and no sensible human being should practice it any longer. The impunity which allows participants to inflict grievously bodily harm causes crippling injuries while the size of players augmented by supplements (both legal and not) makes it too dangerous to police and regulate. Any school which allows its students to practice is breaching its duty of care and any parent who encourages their child to play rugby is putting them knowingly in harm's way.

In this article published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 12 June 2016, a former rugby union professional player does not allow his own children to play the game that gave him fame and glory. 

Read it for yourself and look after your kids by not letting them play a game that, at this stage, is too dangerous unless it reforms itself from the scrum to tacking laws. No matter how much schools may push you and them towards them, it is your decision not to put your children in harm's way.

It is a decision that triggered a flood of tears and broke more than one heart in a family.

Brad Harrison is a proud former NSW Waratah and president of one the largest junior rugby districts in Australia. But he won't be cheering on his 14-year-old son Luke in the Sydney Junior Rugby Union competition any longer – because he feels the sport has become "too dangerous".

"The landscape of junior rugby has changed significantly, children are maturing at different rates and what we are seeing is a huge discrepancy in the size of children between the ages of under 12 and under 14," said Mr Harrison who was a flanker for the Waratahs in the mid-nineties.

"It is a miracle it hasn't yet happened but, if the rules do not change, someone soon is going to suffer a catastrophic life-changing injury – and I did not want it to be my son. For that reason, I removed him from playing club rugby."
These are the views of a passionate rugby "tragic" who oversees the safety and welfare of more than 2000 children at Gordon Junior Rugby Union. But as a concerned parent now calling on the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) to introduce a safer, weight-for-age system, he is certainly not alone.

The ARU told Fairfax last week it is planning to respond with an "updated national policy" set to be introduced for the 2017 season.

While a spokesman refused to elaborate on how the strategy might work, he said a "panel of experts" had been assembled to review a "range of safety issues" associated with the junior game.
The panel are also analysing "existing research" and "international competition models" surrounding "weight and age" in grades under 19 and below.

In a letter to Sydney Junior Rugby Union last May, Mr Harrison spoke of the "increasing disparity" in the size and physical maturity of players, adding: "The most obvious concern is that we are breaching our duty of care to these young people due to an unacceptable safety risk."

He went on to cite current trends of "declining registrations" and an increasing number of matches being "forfeited" due to safety concerns. "If the unthinkable does occur ... then I fear for the future of our game," he said.
The ARU has previously refused to consider a weight category trial similar to the system adopted in New Zealand junior rugby which involves a preseason weigh-in and the possibility of teenagers playing in one of three possible age groups. It has, however, granted a discretionary policy that allows clubs to move players down from one level of age grade rugby to the level below.

Mr Harrison's son Luke is hoping he will end up as big as his father but for now, he's a 40-kilogram late developer who, until he was sidelined, was clashing with players his own age who weighed in excess of 100 kilograms.
"It didn't just bring a tear to my eye, I had tears rolling down my cheeks," said Mr Harrison of his "heartbreaking" decision to withdraw Luke from the Lindfield under-14s side.

Luke added: "I got the reasoning behind it because I was injured a fair bit last year. I got concussion twice. And there was a time before that when I ended up in the emergency ward at hospital. It can be pretty scary but like everyone my age, I just want to play the game and enjoy it."

Friend and under-14s teammate Angus Talbot is a fortnight younger than Luke but towers above him at 1.96 metres. He said there were often times on the field when he himself was concerned for smaller competitors. "With tackles, it does make you think twice," he said.

Another parent advocating the introduction of junior weight categories is Cecille Heath whose 13-year-old son Nicholas plays for both St Aloysius' College and Mosman Junior Rugby.

Mrs Heath, who was watching her son compete at the NSW Junior Rugby State Championships at Drummoyne yesterday, said: "He's fast, gutsy and very skilful but he is small for his age and sometimes, he is up against kids that are monstrous in size. It will take one innocent fall, one bad tackle, and we could be facing something extremely serious that changes our lives forever."

"Rugby at our school is dying," she added, referring to two teams that were reluctantly scrapped this year due to lack of interest. "Parents expect Australian Rugby to look after their children. Until it does so, those mums and dads will steer their kids into other sports and it will continue to die."

Another rugby parent cheering her son on yesterday, Julie, said she had "mixed feelings" about the concept. "I think moving kids up one year is fine but anything beyond that would be a completely different environment involving boys who are far more mentally developed."

Family Law Pre and Post Nups essential in modern Australia

You can see for yourself this case where the mother in law has to pay up (by selling her own home) her son's former spouse our of a property settlement post-divorce. It may defy comprehension why a Family Court ordered this against the mother in law who wasn't obviously a party to the failed marriage. Yet this could have been avoided if the son (the husband) and his wife had entered into a post nuptial agreement (the technical work is Binding Financial Agreement) protecting the son's mother's assets. 

With the Family Courts discovering 'rights' which most people couldn't conceive they existed, it is absolutely critical, and the responsible thing to do, to get yourself a good lawyer, particularly when all is going well within the marriage or de facto relationship, and enter into an agreement providing for all contingencies and ensuring the parties' rights are well understood and protected. 

When things go wrong in a relationship, this can't be done and lawyers are employed to clean up the mess not to prevent it. I encourage you all to get a lawyer well before that happens.

This is the piece from The Australian on 2 May 2016
The 90-year-old matriarch of a wealthy Melbourne family has been ordered to sell the seaside home that has been in her family since 1956, or find $1.1 million to pay out her son’s ex-wife.
The matriarch, who cannot be named for legal reasons but is known in court documents as Mrs H, told Federal Circuit Court judge Grant Riethmuller she would “rath­er die’’ than sell the place that holds so many “beautiful memories’’. Judge Riethmuller decided that was “hyperbole in a form not uncommon for someone of such advanced years’’ and ­ordered Mrs H to sell the property by May 18 or find $1.1m to give to her former daughter- in-law.
The dispute arose after the daughter-in-law went to court claiming an interest in the property, described as ‘‘large and beautiful … on high ground, close to the ocean’’ with “beautiful natur­al gardens’’ and a boat shed.
She told the court she moved into the property with her husband after they fell on hard times in 1985. She raised her children there and did not move out until 2009, after more than 25 years of marriage.
Mrs H’s son told the court his mother allowed him to live in the house “for a modest rent’’ because he had been bad with money all his life, and was now bankrupt.
His ex-wife told the court Mrs H told her several times over the years that the property was theirs.
She gave the court receipts showing they made many improvements to it, and quoted Mrs H saying such things as: “You know you can stay there forever, it’s yours … you can do what you like to it.’’
Mrs H vehemently denied saying any such thing: “I have never, never said I would part with (it). It’s completely a make-up. My ­father gave me that property. I remember the date. He said: ‘Every Christmas, we have a terrible time getting a place for us all to stay. I think I’ve found it. What do you think?’ … We all walked around and we loved it. It was a holiday house for the whole family.’’
She agreed her son’s ex-wife had lived there for more than 20 years, including for two years after the marriage broke down, but this was “much to our shivering, I must say.’’ As for letting the ex-wife stay there forever, she said: “How could she stay there forever? I have other children. It was a holiday house. … I would never promise it to anybody.’’
The vehement nature of Mrs H’s testimony did not persuade Judge Riethmuller, who said he preferred the evidence of the ex-wife and her daughter. “I find that the wife should receive­ a half-­interest in (the) property,’’ he said, adding that Mrs H should be allowed to “retain the property if she was able to … (provided) she make a payment of $1.16m to the wife. If it is not paid within 90 days, the property should be sold.’’

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Recently I spent three weeks on a road trip which took me through Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, very briefly to Israel, and then Egypt. I won't count my time at the Emirates, which I will refer to only in passing. I was not new to the region by any means. I had visited some of those countries before and had also spent time in other Islamic nations from Iran to Qatar. If you asked me what I saw and if I were to answer truthfully I would have to answer: misery, tyranny, oppression, extreme poverty, religious fanaticism and political manipulation. This in no order of importance.

The degree of political contempt displayed by most Arab governments towards its population borders on the ridiculous. Let's put Lebanon, an unmitigated mess beyond repair, to one side but let's take the plight of the Palestinians who reside there after 1967. There are 13 Palestinian refugee camps in the country. The immense majority of the 'refugees' were born and bred in Lebanon. They live in squalor, I visited a couple of these camps and was appalled beyond measure. It is easy to solely blame Israel for this but the crude reality, and a reality which is hardly published, is that the Lebanese detest the Palestinians in general. Despite being born in Lebanon Palestinians are denied employment, and of course citizenship. They cannot be gainfully employed (can only work for themselves). They are treated like pariahs in their country of birth because Lebanon confers no rights on them. As a matter of fact, Lebanon's citizenship laws are abhorrent: citizenship passes through the father or grandfather. If a Lebanese woman marries a non-Lebanese citizen and has children in Lebanon, those children will not be deemed to be Lebanese and will be foreigners subject to visa residency laws.

Palestinians suffer the same unequal treatment or worse. At least two Lebanese women who I chose at random offered the following (and same explanation) to me: `'how can we employ them?" If they do something, they run away to the camps, the police and the army can't go in there, they have their own weapons, why do they have their own weapons, to fight who?" When I gently pointed out that the vast majority of them were born in Lebanon, I always got the same answer: "They are not Lebanese!" "We received them with open arms and look at what they did to our country..." I traveled through the Baalbeck valley which is dominated by Hezbollah. Hezbollah's flags, the pictures of their leaders, their music and even their own T shirts dominate the landscape as far as the eye can see. I even had a driver who was from the Hezbollah dominated district of Beirut and was playing out to me incesantly Hezbollah's martial songs in his car over and over again.

Hezbollah has the weapons and despite losing the last June elections dictate to a great degree what happens in the country. I asked a Hezbollah supporter when they would finally cut a deal with PM elect Hariri `(who holds the majority of votes but not an outright majority). He laughed me off: Who cares about Hariri? We can get rid of him in 15 minutes. We can control all of Beirut in a day. We are here to fight Israel! I felt inclined to ask why this is since Israel never expressed any wish to occupy any part of Lebanon and only intervened militarily (devastatingly and arguably disproportionally) when Hezbollah fired misiles at them from inside LEBANON. But I didn't. The country is now going through a fragile political truce which is at least bloodless. It will probably not last for much longer. The local media runs regular anti-Israeli articles in the press. but only a fool would seriously believe that Lebanon's mess is exclusively a by-product of Israel's policies.

The poorest, most backward and saddest country I visited in the region is Syria. Its misery, decay, and political oppression can be smelled as soon as one crosses the border in a taxi from Beirut. Damascus is only 130 km west of Beirut and it is only a short drive away. The contrast (even with a country as poor and destroyed by war as Lebanon) is shocking. Syria is still a cold war country. There is some joy about life in Lebanon's tragedies but there is certainly no joy to be found in Syria. It is very difficult to describe through words the dusty, polluted hote that Damascus is today. The few tourists that venture there may find the Old City's market picturesque. It is indeed but what some tourists may find picturesque others may relate to abject poverty. Syrian's average salary is about $100 per month.

Where others may find picturesque, I found it depressing.
(to be continued)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stop Exploitation of Human Tragedies

The bushfires were awful.  News coverage was back to back.  But there are limits.  And newsmedia, particularly television, has sensed an opportunity to gain an advantage (in advertising, ratings, etc) by exploiting the human horror stories which are emerging from the Fires.

It adds nothing to the common viewer to know the ins and outs of how people were effectively burnt alive, or how one life was saved by a miraculous twist of fate. 

And there is nothing more despicable that the so-called celebrities seeking free publicity and public goodwill by showing their faces at the scene by having some inane banter with the desperate and desolate victims.

There is very little analysis of the causes of the fire, the lack of prevention, the non-existent warning system, or the fanatical element within the Greens Lobby which contributed by omission to this tragedy.

I have flooded with calls from Spanish speaking media.  They were bewildered that something of this ugly magnitude could ocurr in a first world country like Australia.  It is interesting our own electronic media has queried how this has happened here instead of showing us the desperate faces of the traumatised survivors.  That is not journalist, but voyeurism.