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Thread: Are women getting an unfair deal from the Irish Justice system?

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    Default Are women getting an unfair deal from the Irish Justice system?

    Im already aware of a thread on Anthony Lyons but just wanted to look at the over all picture in the Irish justice system in light of some recent cases. Recent cases have seen perpetrators of attacks being let go with suspended sentences, paying fines or partially both with the Lyons case being the most famous one. In one instance there was a case of an alleged rape victim being arrested for not testifying in court (this even made the headlines in the Guardian).

    Anthony Lyons was told to pay a €75k fine and then told he was only serving six months of a six year sentence as he was at low risk of offending. In November of this year gone by Eamon Harkin beat his girlfriend badly and only refrained from it during the ninety minute beating so he could have a glass of water. Harkin got 240 hours community service in lieu of a two year suspended sentence.

    The most shocking however comes from three cases which were presided over by a judge Martin Nolan and all three cases IMO the attacker gets a lenient sentence. The first involved a Graham Griffin was a 29 year old from Louth who attacked a 17 year old girl. Griffin told the gardai that he was under some sort of "magnetic force" and blamed the hormones . He was handed a suspended four year sentence. The second case involves a Thoms Finn who attacked his neighbour while her deah elderly father was inside his house. The victim lost conciousness and when on the ground Finn continued on kicking the victim and was later told that he could escape jail if he paid the victim €3000 compensation which was described as "a token of remorse". Lastly a Jane Ruffino told the media she felt down by the media after her attacker escaped jail when he was told to pay €5000 and this would mean he would get a suspended sentence.

    The above clearly shows that the justice system is letting down women and not only that the political system to boot but the former is not as noticeable as the latter. We have a male orientatied establishment that seems to take no notice of how women are treated and women can still be considered second class citizens in this country. We need to change the system and do a root and branch clear out of the judicial system . Nolans sentences are not satisfactory at all IMO, something that I, if I were a woman, would take issue with.



    Sources:



    http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/b...lt-561171.html

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...reaking52.html

    http://www.independent.ie/national-n...0-3265350.html

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland...er-213581.html


    http://www.independent.ie/national-n...k-3294545.html

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...rested-ireland
    Many thanks to Alison at IFN for her help on this
    Last edited by fluffybiscuits; 21-11-2012 at 10:16 PM.
    History is the only true teacher, the revolution the best school for the proletariat - Rosa Luxembourg

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    Default Re: Are women getting an unfair deal from the Irish Justice system?

    http://www.independent.ie/national-n...y-3264748.html

    n March, he presided over a case in which the court was told that Paul Begley (46), of Begley Brothers in Blanchardstown, Dublin, had evaded paying duty on more than 1,000 tonnes of garlic.

    Imposing the sentence, Judge Nolan said he gave him "no joy at all to jail a decent man" but that Begley had engaged in a "huge" tax-evasion scheme.

    That same month, the mother of a juvenile sentenced to six years for a violent burglary screamed at the judge that he had earlier handed down a lighter sentence to a child abuser.

    As she was arrested for contempt and was being escorted to the cells, the woman shouted to Judge Nolan that he "gave a pervert four years for raping children".

    Some months later, the judge presided
    History is the only true teacher, the revolution the best school for the proletariat - Rosa Luxembourg

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    Default Re: Are women getting an unfair deal from the Irish Justice system?

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...302580529.html

    More evidence of Irish courts treating a woman abysmally. Where does it stop. In this case a woman from Nigeria who had a miscarriage and was deported against medical advice.


    http://www.africanoutlookonline.com/...th-miscarriage

    Am I the only one to see the Irish justice system has a problem of this sort?
    History is the only true teacher, the revolution the best school for the proletariat - Rosa Luxembourg

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    Default Re: Are women getting an unfair deal from the Irish Justice system?

    I'm not sure if its entirely useful to focus on women, fluffy.

    The Irish "justice" system is medieval, backward, ignorant, elitist, arbitrary, capricious, vicious and utterly corrupt.

    It doesn't work for anyone who isn't on the Golden Circle inside track. Sure, it doesn't work for women. Doesn't work for men either. Or poor people, or workers, or people on welfare, or Travellers, or small local business owners and traders or.....anyone who isn't part of the club.
    In Ireland, the State is not your friend. The State is your enemy. But there seems to be this Irish impulse towards tribalism and deliberately muddying the waters by splitting issues alongside tribal/demographic/vested-interest-group lines. Which only ensures that everyone fractures into camps and squabbles, and so nothing ever gets done, while the psycho elite sail serenely on towards their fat pensions.

    Sometimes I wonder what it will take for Irish people to wake the hell up and confront the true nature of the abusive kleptocratic tyranny - dressed up (badly, if you squint, in poor light) as a democracy - that they live under.

    Or to start approaching issues - any issues at all - wearing only the label of "citizen" rather than "oppressed member of minority vested-interest group Z who want more chips than Themmuns, mammy".

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    Default Re: Are women getting an unfair deal from the Irish Justice system?

    We had a chance to introduce codified law upon independence but instead persevered with the antiquated, inefficient, elitist, compromised and expensive common law system which we inherited from our former colonial masters.

    Any chance we had to get rid of it died with the imposition of the Constitution written by DeValera and John Charles McQuaid.

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    Default Re: Are women getting an unfair deal from the Irish Justice system?

    I think the law and access to the courts is still a class thing.

    Link Early Irish Law

    Although the various groups were theoretically on par with each other, the church apparently had supremacy. Críth Gablach states "Who is nobler, the king or the bishop? The bishop is nobler, for the king rises up before him on account of the Faith; moreover the bishop raises his knee before the king." This relative ranking is reflected elsewhere. In addition, according to Críth Gablach the ranking of the lay grades was modeled after the ecclesiastical grades in that there should be seven grades, a number rarely met perfectly.
    Irish law recognized a number of classes, from unfree to king, which were ranked within the status tracts. Little space was given to the unfree, which reflects the lack of dependence upon slaves as opposed to other societies, such as Ancient Rome. However, the laws discuss slaves, both male and female, and the term for a female slave, cumal, became a broader currency term.
    if a man died with no children, the property was distributed between his nearest kin—first the descendants of his father, and if there were no such descendants, then between the descendants of his grandfather, and so on. Any extra land that daughters could not inherit because of female inheritance limits also went to the wider kin.
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    Default Re: Are women getting an unfair deal from the Irish Justice system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew49 View Post
    I think the law and access to the courts is still a class thing.

    Link Early Irish Law
    All the laws referenced Andrew are post-Christian. Pre-Christian brehonic law and society had no concept of male-only primogeniture, women owned property in their own rights, could divorce unworthy husbands, could lead their tribes (eg Medb, even up to the 16th century eg Granuaile)....in light of events this week there's even plenty of hints in the surviving mythology even after the priests "sanitised" the tales that they also had the right to choose what went on in their own bodies.

    It's increasingly clear that the real problem all along, for some 1600 years, has been the first aggressive colonising Empire to seek hegemony over the Irish people.

    The Roman Church.

    Ireland will never be a country worth living in, and never have the cultural, psychological and emotional tools to actually build a sane functioning society and political system and economy, until the toxic poison of the Roman Church is once and for all utterly eradicated from the hearts, minds and soil of Ireland.
    Last edited by Sidewinder; 22-11-2012 at 10:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Are women getting an unfair deal from the Irish Justice system?

    Quote Originally Posted by fluffybiscuits View Post
    Im already aware of a thread on Anthony Lyons but just wanted to look at the over all picture in the Irish justice system in light of some recent cases. Recent cases have seen perpetrators of attacks being let go with suspended sentences, paying fines or partially both with the Lyons case being the most famous one. In one instance there was a case of an alleged rape victim being arrested for not testifying in court (this even made the headlines in the Guardian).

    Anthony Lyons was told to pay a €75k fine and then told he was only serving six months of a six year sentence as he was at low risk of offending. In November of this year gone by Eamon Harkin beat his girlfriend badly and only refrained from it during the ninety minute beating so he could have a glass of water. Harkin got 240 hours community service in lieu of a two year suspended sentence.

    The most shocking however comes from three cases which were presided over by a judge Martin Nolan and all three cases IMO the attacker gets a lenient sentence. The first involved a Graham Griffin was a 29 year old from Louth who attacked a 17 year old girl. Griffin told the gardai that he was under some sort of "magnetic force" and blamed the hormones . He was handed a suspended four year sentence. The second case involves a Thoms Finn who attacked his neighbour while her deah elderly father was inside his house. The victim lost conciousness and when on the ground Finn continued on kicking the victim and was later told that he could escape jail if he paid the victim €3000 compensation which was described as "a token of remorse". Lastly a Jane Ruffino told the media she felt down by the media after her attacker escaped jail when he was told to pay €5000 and this would mean he would get a suspended sentence.

    The above clearly shows that the justice system is letting down women and not only that the political system to boot but the former is not as noticeable as the latter. We have a male orientatied establishment that seems to take no notice of how women are treated and women can still be considered second class citizens in this country. We need to change the system and do a root and branch clear out of the judicial system . Nolans sentences are not satisfactory at all IMO, something that I, if I were a woman, would take issue with.

    Many thanks to Alison at IFN for her help on this
    The entire Irish Legal system is dysfunctional and not fit for purpose, those unjust determinations are indeed appalingly sexist, incorrect and do nothing to discourage crime. BUT! That could be anyone that has been failed by our Justice system. You could have the head kicked off you while quitely walking home and what would be the chances of getting a satisfactory result when looking for justice or even simply looking to prevent it happening to someone else?

    The right to feel safe and to have your safety protected by society as a whole is one of the most important factors in what makes life worth living. The Law serves the system first and the individual or the truth are incidental.

    Revolving door, lack of rehabilitation services, lack of action to break up multi-generational criminality. It's almost like the justice system is there to provide a constant stream of work for some very comfortably off people while ignoring the needs of the community at large.

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    Default Re: Are women getting an unfair deal from the Irish Justice system?

    Another example of a judge thinking a cash bribe is enough (yet denying this is what he was doing).

    Before passing sentence, Judge O’Kelly asked the victim if she would consider accepting an offer of compensation, adding: “I’m not suggesting he buy off a custodial sentence.”

    The judge noted Mr O’Donoghue had “not forced the girl to give evidence” by pleading guilty, and he had no convictions.

    However, the judge said he would “have to impose a custodial sentence” after the girl rejected the offer of compensation.

    Outside the court the girl’s mother said: “This is not justice. I can’t understand this system, I honestly can’t.”
    http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland...er-214845.html
    Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer

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    Default Re: Are women getting an unfair deal from the Irish Justice system?

    This is a great thread. Some judge does or says something stupid and unfair and there is a bit of an outcry but no attempt seems ever to be made to examine the attitude toward women within the criminal justice and/or wider legal system .

    Helena Kennedy QC
    , the UK barrister has written a lot about the way women are treated in courts - most famously in her book 'Eve was Framed'.

    The book is about the British legal system, but does anyone seriously think things are likely to be better here? Women are are treated to a different standard both as victims and as perpetrators. Much more likely to receive custodial sentences and are incarcerated for longer periods for comparable crimes when they do. Fines are higher etc. The problem for women in the legal system, and which Kennedy points in her book, is that they have the additional burden of class prejudice on top of the gender bias against them.

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    Default Re: Are women getting an unfair deal from the Irish Justice system?

    Have to say, at the risk of making CF faint, that the Irish Justice System has been rotten with the alarming analysis of the role of women in society that comes straight from the Knights of Columbanus handbook ever since the inception of the Special Purpose Vehicle known as 'Eire'.

    Makes no sense. There is no known data or research anywhere that says intelligence and ability is skewed by gender.

    This is not the first time Eire SPV has socially tried to forge an unusual intellectual path bereft of research data.
    Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.

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    Default Re: Are women getting an unfair deal from the Irish Justice system?

    Quote Originally Posted by MediaBite View Post
    This is a great thread. Some judge does or says something stupid and unfair and there is a bit of an outcry but no attempt seems ever to be made to examine the attitude toward women within the criminal justice and/or wider legal system .

    Helena Kennedy QC
    , the UK barrister has written a lot about the way women are treated in courts - most famously in her book 'Eve was Framed'.

    The book is about the British legal system, but does anyone seriously think things are likely to be better here? Women are are treated to a different standard both as victims and as perpetrators. Much more likely to receive custodial sentences and are incarcerated for longer periods for comparable crimes when they do. Fines are higher etc. The problem for women in the legal system, and which Kennedy points in her book, is that they have the additional burden of class prejudice on top of the gender bias against them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaadi View Post
    The entire Irish Legal system is dysfunctional and not fit for purpose, those unjust determinations are indeed appalingly sexist, incorrect and do nothing to discourage crime. BUT! That could be anyone that has been failed by our Justice system. You could have the head kicked off you while quitely walking home and what would be the chances of getting a satisfactory result when looking for justice or even simply looking to prevent it happening to someone else?

    The right to feel safe and to have your safety protected by society as a whole is one of the most important factors in what makes life worth living. The Law serves the system first and the individual or the truth are incidental.

    Revolving door, lack of rehabilitation services, lack of action to break up multi-generational criminality. It's almost like the justice system is there to provide a constant stream of work for some very comfortably off people while ignoring the needs of the community at large.
    MediaBite got there but before it could be said by me There is not much data available but there is an inherent bias in the system but its impossible to say to what extent. Money is dictating what sort of custodial sentences are being handed down if any are being handed down with the money being used as compensatio in lieu of the perptrator getting a sentence. The Slutwalk Protests in Canada and that spread here were in response to comments in Canada that women should not dress provocativley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SlutWalk) so the issue is not confinded solely to Ireland. Its obvious Irelands judiciary is a male orientated establishment with women taking second place. If a woman were presiding over a lot of cases would the perpetrators have gotten a stiffer sentence?
    History is the only true teacher, the revolution the best school for the proletariat - Rosa Luxembourg

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    Default Re: Are women getting an unfair deal from the Irish Justice system?

    Like I said earlier....of course there's a bias in the system. The system is based on medieval elitist god-bothering gibberish, and only those that see themselves as the elect will ever get a fair deal from a medieval system based on maintaining an unfair inegalitarian system of privilege based on medieval elitist concepts.

    This issue is much bigger than just women (or children, or gays, or working-class people, or........). In my experience of Ireland, all 39 years of it, one of the great flaws of any allegedly progressive reforming group is that they always focus on the rights of Group X.

    The democratic and republican thing to do would be to focus on the universal rights of Citizens, which by definition includes all the various groups who feel aggrieved, and by definition reduces the inside-track golden circle to having to play on the same pitch as everyone else.

    For decades I tried to argue this blindingly simple and straightforward point with Irish people. Nobody understood it.

    Nah, Irish people would rather focus on some particular Tribe to the exclusion of all others. It seems to be the inbuilt response, and in all truth any concepts of democratic republicanism run very very very very shallow indeed in Ireland, for all our pretensions to being a supposed Republic. Don't get me started on the communal myth of being rebels.

    Ireland deserves what it gets, and this thread is not exactly filling me with hope that even the allegedly progressive elements in Ireland actually get it.....or that they ever will.

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    Default Re: Are women getting an unfair deal from the Irish Justice system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Like I said earlier....of course there's a bias in the system. The system is based on medieval elitist god-bothering gibberish, and only those that see themselves as the elect will ever get a fair deal from a medieval system based on maintaining an unfair inegalitarian system of privilege based on medieval elitist concepts.

    This issue is much bigger than just women (or children, or gays, or working-class people, or........). In my experience of Ireland, all 39 years of it, one of the great flaws of any allegedly progressive reforming group is that they always focus on the rights of Group X.

    The democratic and republican thing to do would be to focus on the universal rights of Citizens, which by definition includes all the various groups who feel aggrieved, and by definition reduces the inside-track golden circle to having to play on the same pitch as everyone else.

    For decades I tried to argue this blindingly simple and straightforward point with Irish people. Nobody understood it.

    Nah, Irish people would rather focus on some particular Tribe to the exclusion of all others. It seems to be the inbuilt response, and in all truth any concepts of democratic republicanism run very very very very shallow indeed in Ireland, for all our pretensions to being a supposed Republic. Don't get me started on the communal myth of being rebels.

    Ireland deserves what it gets, and this thread is not exactly filling me with hope that even the allegedly progressive elements in Ireland actually get it.....or that they ever will.

    When it was written by Eamon DeValera and Archbishop John Charles McQuaid in 1937, the entire Constitution was based on this. Like the Holy Stone of Clonrickett, this 3rd Class relic needs not amending but complete replacement.

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    Default Re: Are women getting an unfair deal from the Irish Justice system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slim Buddha View Post
    When it was written by Eamon DeValera and Archbishop John Charles McQuaid in 1937, the entire Constitution was based on this. Like the Holy Stone of Clonrickett, this 3rd Class relic needs not amending but complete replacement.
    Mc Quaid was an upholder of the old school conservatism that strongly influenced the teachings of the church and state laws. Laws were even ran by the hoping they would pass some sort of moral test to please the church and not come into conflict. Invariably due to this infuence of the churches thinking we ended up with a pile of misogynistic up the hole backwards laws that today we have to untangle. Its ridiculous for a country like Ireland in the 21st century to be still doing this, that we dont have any more clear cut laws.
    History is the only true teacher, the revolution the best school for the proletariat - Rosa Luxembourg

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