Hanson’s family law claims slapped down

Pressure mounts to have Pauline Hanson thrown off Family Law Inquiry

Pauline Hanson’s claims on family law were downplayed at the inquiry. Picture: Gary Ramage
Pauline Hanson’s claims on family law were downplayed at the inquiry. Picture: Gary Ramage

Pauline Hanson says courts continue to deny parents access to their children for “no apparent reason”, a claim the Attorney-General’s Department has dismissed as simplistic.

The Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System sat on Monday, to review the government’s bid to reform the family court system.

One Nation senator Pauline Hanson claimed she had heard, without providing specifics, that parents were being denied access to their children “for no apparent reason”.

But Iain Anderson from the Attorney-General’s Department rubbished the claims, saying no-contact orders were only made when a judge was satisfied a child or ex-partner faced significant risk.

Although the rulings could be “extremely traumatic for a parent”, judges were more likely to order contact for both parents than when parties struck their own custody agreement, he said.

Senator Hanson also claimed mothers used false allegations of sexual abuse to deny their ex-partners custody.

She cited comments from retiring family law court judge David Collier, who claimed in 2013 false accusations were on the rise in family law matters.

Pauline Hanson’s claims on family law were downplayed at the inquiry. Picture: Gary Ramage
Pauline Hanson’s claims on family law were downplayed at the inquiry. Picture: Gary Ramage

Mr Anderson said the courts did not accept allegations without scrutiny.

“It’s not as simple as saying that just because someone puts forward an allegation of sexual abuse, that determines how the case is going to proceed,” he said.

“(Justice Collier’s comments) suggest to me that sitting as a judge, he would have been able to weigh up the different evidence that was put to him and consider what orders should be made.

“It’s not necessarily the case that judges just accept an allegation of sexual abuse if it’s made. They’ll give appropriate weight to determining whether it’s correct or not.”

In February, Senator Hanson caused outrage by suggesting Rowan Baxter, who set his wife and children alight in an horrific murder-suicide, may have been “driven to it” and that “these things happen”.

Labor and the Greens demanded she be sacked as deputy chair of the Family Law Inquiry.

The government is pushing to merge the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court of Australia into a single entity, arguing the bill would expedite cases and make the system easier to navigate by creating a single entry point.

The government is pushing to merge the Family Law Court and Family Court of Australia into a single entity, arguing it would expedite family law cases. Picture: Getty Images
The government is pushing to merge the Family Law Court and Family Court of Australia into a single entity, arguing it would expedite family law cases. Picture: Getty Images

The proposal is fiercely opposed by the Law Council of Australia, the nation’s peak legal body, which told parliament last month the Federal Circuit Court was already groaning under the weight of a backlog of cases.

But Mr Anderson said all legal bodies agreed family law matters needed to be dealt with by a single entity.

“They’re all on the record of saying it would be much better to have a single court doing family law in federal sphere,” he said.

“While they might disagree with the model that’s been put forward by the government, they certainly don’t disagree that moving to a single, harmonised process would … enable matters to be dealt with more quickly and more cheaply.”

Last week a senate committee recommended the government’s proposal proceed, despite opposition from Labor and the Greens.

Posted in False Allegations, Family Law, Government Inquiries, Hot Topics | Leave a comment

Eton College SACKS English master for producing lecture for older students that questioned the ‘current radical feminist orthodoxy’

Will Knowland taught English at £42,500-a-year Berkshire school for nine years

  • Mr Knowland said he was dismissed over a lesson titled ‘The Patriarchy Paradox’
  • The class was for Perspectives module, where pupils critique subjects of debate
  • It was made as a virtual lecture to be put on the intranet – but it was never aired

Will Knowland, who taught English at the £42,500-a-year school in Berkshire for nine years, said he was dismissed over a lesson titled ‘The Patriarchy Paradox’.

He said he was appealing the gross misconduct claim and will go to a employment tribunal if it is unsuccessful.

The class was for older students taking the Perspectives module, where they are told to critique topics of public debate.

It was made as a virtual lecture to be put on the college’s intranet due to the coronavirus crisis, but it was never aired.

Eton has been accused of ‘prioritising emotional safety over intellectual challenge’ after banning the lesson.

Will Knowland, who taught English at the £42,500-a-year school in Berkshire for nine years, said he was dismissed over a lesson titled 'The Patriarchy Paradox'

Mr Knowland told the Telegraph: ‘The head master felt that some of the ideas put forward in my lecture – such as the view that men and women differ psychologically and not all of those differences are socially constructed – were too dangerous for the boys to be exposed to.

‘I explained to the head master that I wasn’t endorsing all the ideas in my lecture, but I wanted the boys to be made aware of a different point of view to the current radical feminist orthodoxy, which insists that there’s something fundamentally toxic about masculinity.

‘In my lecture, I pointed out that, historically, masculine qualities like strength, courage and tenacity have often been as beneficial to women as they have been to men.’

Posted in Discrimination, Feminism, Freedom of Speech, Hot Topics, Men's Issues, War on Men | Leave a comment