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    Default Good article re: gendered response to rape allegations in the media

    This is an article written by the lawyer who worked with the woman, now deceased, at the centre of the rape allegations concerning the current attorney general. I think those following this story might find it interesting. He isn't discussing the details of the case, it's more about the response and the gendered divide in the media. Anyhow. Thought I'd post in case anyone's interested.

    https://www.themandarin.com.au/15118...just-dont-get/

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    Very interesting. Reflecting on my views from last week and with this article, the reason I’m against an investigation is that it won’t give a suitable outcome. Our system does not deal with rape cases well, especially historic ones with no physical evidence. Whatever actually happened will never be proven beyond reasonable doubt and in the meantime the victim will have her reputation and mental health status dragged through the mud - for absolutely no useful purpose.

    We should be putting our time and effort into true education, cultural change programs and law reforms. Supporting current victims where there is a chance of legal success.

    I was privileged to hear Grace Tame speak at a lunch the other day. Despite ‘winning’ in court, with her perpetrators horrendous actions over a long sustained period proven, he was out in 18 months and back to his normal life. This is where our outrage, time and money should be spent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mod-DJ Nette View Post
    Very interesting. Reflecting on my views from last week and with this article, the reason I’m against an investigation is that it won’t give a suitable outcome. Our system does not deal with rape cases well, especially historic ones with no physical evidence. Whatever actually happened will never be proven beyond reasonable doubt and in the meantime the victim will have her reputation and mental health status dragged through the mud - for absolutely no useful purpose.

    We should be putting our time and effort into true education, cultural change programs and law reforms. Supporting current victims where there is a chance of legal success.

    I was privileged to hear Grace Tame speak at a lunch the other day. Despite ‘winning’ in court, with her perpetrators horrendous actions over a long sustained period proven, he was out in 18 months and back to his normal life. This is where our outrage, time and money should be spent.
    It's not possible to preempt the outcome of an independent inquiry, so it's also not possible to conclude whether the outcome would be suitable or not. And suitable in what sense? The inquiry people are calling for isn't a criminal one - it's about determining whether he is fit to hold the office of attorney general. It's highly misleading for our prime minister to attempt to conflate the two.

    Nobody is arguing against supporting living victims. It's not an either/or proposition. In fact, supporting living victims in a tangible way has to include legislating for change away from the current system, in which less than 1% of reported rapes result in conviction.......and who advises government on legislation about sexual assault? The attorney general.

    Plus an independent inquiry would be such a wonderful opportunity for him to clear his name.

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    Having said all that I feel our PM is holding his line until Porter is no longer AG, which I suspect isn't too far off. And then he'll be able to say that no inquiry into fitness for office is required because the guy's no longer in the position. It would be all "let's leave him be hasn't he suffered enough."

    The government has a very slim majority. Porter, irrespective of whether he's innocent or not of the allegations, has a very powerful card. Should he resign, it would force a by-election in his seat. The govt would not want that given the current mood, because chances are they'd lose it, and with it the ability to govern outright.

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    There are people calling for inquires all over the place: criminal, coronial, into the events of that night, into his suitability etc etc.

    What rules of evidence will it follow, what burden of proof does it need to prove? But more importantly how will its outcomes make a difference to the culture of the here and now?

    These are important questions to consider. Inquiries are expensive and time consuming so it would be good to understand what outcomes people think they will get.

    In terms of him clearing his name, that isn’t likely to happen. There will never be enough evidence to confirm his guilt beyond reasonable doubt, but equally there will never be enough evidence to unequivocally state that it didn’t happen.

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    I just wrote a long reply and managed to delete it.

    Essentially...... good on people for calling for all kinds of inquiries. Whether or not our AG is a rapist is a big deal.

    The burden of proof the govt required to make the ceo of auspost resign was that she failed the "pub test" (and she was in fact cleared of any wrongdoing). The pub test is good enough for a female executive, so raising the burden of proof any higher than that should be ok for a male minister, right? And in her case it was about watches, here we're talking about alleged rape. What message does this send to victims of sexual assault? To women in general?

    We don't know whether he'd be able to clear his name, the evidence has never been tested. (If you don't count our PM, who satisfied himself by asking his mate. )

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    This article from Laura Tingle puts it well, there are academics saying he's not being held to the standard of the profession which applies to lawyers, let alone the AG office.

    https://amp.abc.net.au/article/13235...mpression=true

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    This made me think of this thread. The question of how any inquiry should be framed is one for the solicitor general. It would be for the attorney general, were the allegations not about him:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...icitor-general

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    Not posting this to continue the discussion, but because it's a public thread so don't want to leave it unsaid.

    On the point about the alleged victim's reputation or mental health being dragged through the mud in the course of events being investigated:

    Her family supports an investigation.

    Her friends support an investigation.

    People who knew both the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator at the time of the alleged assault support an investigation.

    Media reports a number of people who knew both of them at the time of the alleged assault have publicly stated that they believe her.

    All attempts to date to use her mental health struggles to smear and discredit her have been addressed and refuted both by mental health professionals and people who knew her.

    A large percentage of victims experience mental health problems.
    Last edited by Kalina; 12-03-2021 at 12:29.

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