law reform

11 petitions

Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to The Attorney General of Australia the hon Christian Porter MP, The Attorney General of Queensland, Yvette D'ath, The Australian Law Reform Commission, Australian Federal Police

Refusing to communicate with the other parent of children in your care be made a crime

Petition Set an Example in QLD and Australia – refusal to communicate with the other parent of children in your care, be made into a crime. Thousands of families are impacted by the actions of Family Courts making parenting orders about their children. Many families were not in dire need of intervention, it was simply that the parents are “no longer on good terms”. Family Courts interfere with parenting relationships when they make orders that separate families and divide childrens loyalties by nominating one parent as “more deserving” of child custody than the other. This situation is made worse by the petty refusal of parents to communicate with each other. When the other parent has custody of your children, you still worry about those children and “you are still their parent”. Nothing that the courts or any of their orders can ever do will change that. It is fundamentally wrong to believe that a parent could “suddenly cease to want to care for their own children”. Therefore we need to acknowledge that removing children from one of their parents is abuse of that parent and abuse of the children losing them. We need to acknowledge it and call it the foul that it is!! It IS a “significant loss”, causing “shock” and is a lot like “forced adoption” or removal by child services. There is a psychological impact and psychological damage which results. This psychological damage is then further excaserbated by the refusal of the other parent to communicate about your children, now in their care. This is a source of psychological damage which could be prevented. For the sake of psychological damage prevention to those parents separated from their children against their wishes, and to the children, we the people, ask the government to take affirmative action and make refusal to communicate with the other parent of the children in your care, a criminal offence. There are crimes and domestic violence which should not be excused because of family court orders and THIS is one of them!! At the moment, we do not have a formal “relationships law” in which our behaviour towards others is regulated. We need to be liable for our behaviour and for the destruction and upset that our behaviour can cause to other people who we have relationships with.There is no excuse for failing to be civil to your ex spouse, especially when you have children together who are being effected by your choices. Your disrespecting attitude about your childrens other parent, impacts your children and effects their belief systems and attitude to relationships and themselves. Being a good example means that we are a good example to our children on every issue. There IS a minimum standard of decent behaviour towards others, or else there would not be a Crimes Act. Parents in Family Court cases require support which family law does not give. We need a way to prevent excuses being made by child safety departments and the police that our reports of abusive behaviour towards us are “a family law matter”. Refusing to communicate with the other parent of a child in your care is NOT a family law matter.!! It is a behavioural CHOICE intended to cause upset, suffering and worry. It is one of the single most violent behaviours which can provoke the victim to self destruct or act out. Refusing to communicate with the other parent of a child in your care is intentional emotional and psychological abuse. The fundamental human rights of all people are that we are each treated fairly and with respect for our inherent rights as human beings. That we are treated with dignity, without discrmination and that we are afforded our civil and political rights and rights to freedom of speech. That we are able to live free from persecution, violence and degrading treatment. Being refused communication with the other parent of your children who are in their care IS degrading treatment!!It is a way to denigrate and invalidate the other parent.Refusal to communicate says “that person is not important enough for me to talk to”.It is psychological abuse and a form of domestic violence and it should be acknowledged as such. Parents participating in family law court cases, always have the right to engage directly with the other parent and end their case. At any time, parents can return to mediation and joint counselling or civil discussion processes, and make new agreements and arrangements between them. Unless specified, parenting orders are not “no contact orders” in fact contact is required to carry the orders out and make variations. At any time parents can reconcile, move back in together or marry each other again. There is nothing at all stopping parents from resolving their differences and leaving their family court matter altogether. It would be brilliant if parents actually did this!! Our children are the most precious family asset that we have. They are “our life”. If we cannot contact the other parent to discuss our childrens wellbeing status, needs, and current state of health or talk to our children, we are being psychologically punished in a very abusive manner! !! Refusal to communicate with the other parent of children in your care is ABUSE and it should be a prosecutable criminal offence regardless of family court orders. How many suicides will it take before more dignified solutions to family law disputes are made? ?? How many more lives will be destroyed by sudden loss of children and the lifelong guilt and self-abuse that this can cause? Prosecutable criminal offenceses are an excellent deterrant to crime.People that are concerned about the consequences of their actions will be much less likely to commit an offence if they can be prosecuted for it. PLEASE Help parents being persecuted and tormented by unfeeling custodial parents. NO-ONE deserves to be denied information about their children or to be able to contact the person who has our children in their care. This should be a human right for all parents! Please help prevent domestic violence, drug abuse and crime by making the act of refusing to communicate with the other parent of children in your care, a crime. Allow interested parents the hope that they can and will see their children again and that their parental relationships will be restored. By taking this step you will be making a bold move forward towards helping families with their family law disputes. By enabling a penalty on this abusive behaviour in particular, many families and many childhoods could be saved. We need to stop the “erasing of good parents” that this behaviour causes from occurring altogether. Being a parent is a position in life, as is being a human being. Please help to defend the human rights of parents by enabling this offence. Please conduct community consultation on the development of this criminal offence and the scope of its operation in law. Please engage with the community to find out the actual extent that this behaviour is occurring today since its occurance is widespread and causing serious damage. Please invite the community to input to this process and allow for humane treatment of non-custodial parents who are in parenting disputes, by creating a law to defend them. REFUSING TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE OTHER PARENT OF CHILDREN IN YOUR CARE BE MADE INTO A CRIME. Thank you    

Tabitha Lloyd
61 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Tāhū o te Ture (Minister of Justice) Amy Adams

Petition to legalize Adult Consensual Incest (ACI) in New Zealand

Calling on the New Zealand Parliament to urge the New Zealand Government to amend the law against incest so that it is not applicable in the cases where participants are both consenting adults over the age of 21.  In addition, for those who have been convicted in such circumstances to have both the custodial and non-custodial elements of their sentences reviewed with a view to being quashed in light of any change to the law. BACKGROUND The law in its present form is inappropriate, unfair, ineffective and discriminatory.  The existing law of incest in New Zealand  punishes  consensual  adult incest with imprisonment, thus breaching  the spirit and intent of UN rules about human rights,  and the spirit and  intent of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, especially the right to personal and sexual autonomy; ·  "130 Incest -- Crimes Act 1961 No 43 (as at 13 July 2011), Public Act  13 July 2011. . ·  ·   "131 Sexual conduct with dependent family member -- Crimes Act 1961 No 43 (as at 11 May 2014) 130 Incest(1) Sexual connection is incest if— (a) it is between 2 people whose relationship is that of parent and child, siblings, half-siblings, or grandparent and grandchild; and(b) the person charged knows of the relationship.(2) Every one of or over the age of 16 years who commits incest is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years. Public fears, prejudice and bigotry about ACI are mostly due to ignorance created over many years mostly by the church and church-influenced governments and newspapers, in much the same way as public fears and bigotry about homosexuality were created. In general, societies have a tendency to target isolated individuals and to attack anything perceived to be different as a threat. While a  New Zealand Law Commission paper(  states :“292 New Zealand’s laws on forbidden marriage and incest derive from English legislation, which in turn derives from Leviticus 18:7–18. What is important is why the laws are on the statute book today. We suggest that there are two main reasons: • the protection of the integrity of the family; and • the genetic effects of incest. 293 It cannot be said that the laws of incest and forbidden marriage are maintained for one of these reasons alone. The categories are closely linked.” I consider ( as I did with my petition to the Scottish parliament) New Zealand’s out-dated incest law rests on four points: 1. Public Opinion; 2. Protection of the child and other family members; 3 The Maintenance of Family Solidarity and Cohesion; 4 The Genetic Argument Point One – Public Opinion. Public opinion has changed dramatically since the 1980s, after the Royal Commission into Human Relationships in Australia made  many recommendations including the legalisation of abortion, homosexuality and adult consensual incest.  Many western countries have passed legislation that has reflected the liberalization of attitudes to sex and relationships but this has not extended to ACI relationships.  France, and many others that adopted the Napoleonic code, legalized consensual adult incest about 200 years ago along with other formerly taboo practices. In the past, fornication, adultery, divorce, prostitution, abortion, homosexuality were all either sins or illegal or both. In the majority of modern countries, most of these activities are now legal, if not moral. People are no longer jailed for breaking these former religion–based taboos. More people think scientifically and have degrees in science rather than theology. People's attitudes to human rights have changed a lot, especially with greater awareness of the UN rules about human rights, more widespread knowledge of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and especially the right to personal and sexual autonomy; fewer people, even the religious can afford to be so very moralistic and judgmental as in the past, and most people are better educated, travel to more distant places more often and are more tolerant and understanding of a great diversity of cultures and types of sexual relationships than ever before. People want and expect to have more freedom of thought and choice. When the law on incest was written in New Zealand, no public opinion polls were taken about incest in New Zealand. Any claims that the law was based on public opinion are dubious at best; i.e. any such claims are unsubstantiated by any evidence. No public opinion polls on adult consensual incest were ever undertaken in New Zealand.   The public attitude to incest throughout the 20th century in New Zealand has more than likely been  made ignorant of the law and made by the media and education system   to conflate any healthy, happy and consensual adult incest (non-coerced, non-abusive) relationships with the abusive, coercive, child abuse type of incest. This ambiguity of meanings of the word incest may have been exploited in any recent reports  on incest, giving the impression that all incestuous acts are tainted with one universally negative meaning. Few people in New Zealand have been made aware of the fact, for example, that French law has allowed ACI since 1810. This fact, this important bit of truth has been denied to the public, surreptitiously  brainwashed into  thinking that all modern countries are opposed to and criminalize adult consensual incest, which they indubitably are not and do not, and that  state imposed incestophobic  abuse and torture( imprisonment is  abuse  and torture) is ‘normal’ and that  incestophobia is ‘normal.’ As was the case with other types of taboo relationships in the past,(homosexual, inter-racial)  incest was made into a taboo and stigmatized, largely by the church, but also by church-controlled governments masquerading as modern secular democratic states. Point Two - Protection of the child and other family members By definition, ACI does not involve anyone under the age of 21.  Therefore it involves only adults and excludes anyone under the legal age of consent, and even those a bit older who still may be psychologically immature, and vulnerable to abuse but legally adults in every respect. Children are protected from sexual and other abuse by other laws, and there is no need for the double criminalization of the offence. In other countries, such as England and Australia the crime of 'child sexual abuse' has replaced the more stigmatizing and psychologically damaging term 'incest'. Victims of child sexual abuse do not benefit from being stigmatized when associated with the taboo word 'incest.' (Another reason why the present law needs reforming urgently). Punishing ACI couples does nothing for the protection of the child or other family members. If a parent goes to prison for ACI, it means if there are young children in the family, they have lost the family income from the family breadwinner. If adult siblings are involved in ACI, how can a jail sentence for them protect anyone else in the family? The two are being punished for being in love with each other. It punishes the whole family, and splits them up by denying it the income it could have derived from two working adults, now sent to prison and humiliated. It is not protecting a family to disgrace it and humiliate it, by associating it and other family members with criminal sentencing of an ACI couple in the family and the stigma of incest. Point Three - The Maintenance of Family Solidarity and Cohesion A New Zealand Law Commission paper states  as a reason for the continuation of the law on incest in New ZealandIntegrity of the family297 The integrity of the family is the element that needs to be added to the above reasoning in order to justify the prohibitions. The United Nations stated in 1994 that the “family constitutes the basic unit of society”. It is crucial to the development and nurturing of its individual members.[318] For most people a family is a place where they wish to belong and feel secure, where they are accepted and acknowledged, loved and cared for. But the most crucial need is for society to ensure that families are stable and healthy, and that members accept responsibility for one another, as they are the most effective defensive structures against marginalisation, frustration and want. At times of crisis, social tension and personal problems the first place from which help is usually sought is within the family. The family has the potential for being the best institution for the nurture of children and for intimacy between adults. 298 Incest threatens the security and the stability of the family unit. Marriage within close family relationships is seen as undesirable for the same reasons. The Scottish Law Commission in its report on the law of incest observed that incest could give rise to psychological or other direct harm, a breakdown of trust within the family and may sometimes result in disruptive rivalries.[319] 299 These concepts apply equally to families linked by an adoptive relationship and those that are linked by consanguinity.   Our response to that is this one: There is  no evidence that ACI disturbs family cohesion or solidarity any more than fornication, promiscuity, divorce, homosexuality, prostitution or adultery or even unemployment do. All these acts are no longer subject to criminal punishment, as they may have been under Ecclesiastical Law. Incest was a sin according to the Christian church and under Ecclesiastical Law it was punished by various penances, and 'dispensations' (or 'fines'). Fortunately we are not living under an Anglican theocracy. Jealousy occurs in all kinds of relationships. In today’s society a  married woman  may quite legally  begin to have  sexual relationships with several other married or unmarried  men and or women and her  husband has no recourse, no matter how jealous he may feel. And vice versa. Parents may even feel terribly hurt when there children divorce, become prostitutes, decide to abort  a potential grandchild, or have a same sex marriage and swear never to have children. Life is full of pain, but that is not an excuse to deny people their human rights to love and to start a family with the person they have fallen into a loving committed relationship with, even if it is a family member. ACI couples sometimes have no other living relatives. They constitute a family. They deserve the respect and protection that is implicit in  the  two sentences  mentioned above “The United Nations stated in 1994 that the “family constitutes the basic unit of society”. It is crucial to the development and nurturing of its individual members.”   Point Four - The Genetic Argument The criminalization of ACI sexual relationships because of a purported higher risk of birth defects in children of close kin breeding does not stand up to rational argument. According to Dr James A Roffee's paper (Incest in Scots Law: Missed Opportunities in the New Zealand Law Commission Review), "the genetic argument has been assessed and disregarded in England and Wales. A number of reasons in support of such a conclusion include: that genetics has not been used as a past rationale; that there is great doubt as to the greatly increased risk of a variety of diseases would justify a criminal offense; and that it was not significant in achieving the aims of protection of family and children. If the incest law was justified on the grounds of genetic defects of potential offspring, and thus override the sexual autonomy principle, not only would this be a relatively remote concern it would also have the added implication of labeling any defect caused to the offspring as a legal wrong." Since all people who mate have a 2-3% chance of having a child with a birth defect, (consanguineous couples are only marginally higher) then consistency in the law would require criminalizing "all bad fruit-producing intercourse" and thus would criminalize the large number of sexual acts that produced children with birth defects. It would obviously be unjust and unfair to convict the parents of the 6% of children born with birth defects each year world-wide. So why imprison a minuscule number of people in ACI relationships who only have a slightly higher risk of having a child with a birth defect than the general population does? The above mentioned New Zealand Law Commission paper mentions the genetic argument as a reason for the continuation of the law on incest in New Zealand but ends with this admission:“296 Logically, genetics cannot be the sole determining factor, as contraception can prevent the birth of children to such relationships.”     Conclusion There are no valid reasons to discriminate harshly against the ACI section of the community on the basis of: 1. public opinion; 2. protection of the child and family 3. solidarity of the family and community 4. genetic safety argument. The New Zealand incest law perpetuates superstitious, bigoted outmoded incestophobic beliefs but in its present form, its continued existence is unjustified.  The present incest law in New Zealand is over-inclusive in that while it may  provide protection to those children or adults in a family who are abused  by a family member, it abuses those adult children who were in a consensual adult incestuous relationship with another adult family member by making them  the subject of separation, arrest, prosecution, incarceration, loss of access to children, each other, loss of family and  friends, careers, family homes, and reputations. The law does unnecessarily and unfairly punish consensual adult incest, breaching the rights to sexual autonomy for all consenting adults that is accepted in other developed countries. The law of incest in New Zealand law should be reformed so that ACI is no longer a crime. The law against incest should be removed. Other laws already exist that protect children from abuse  and in any case, incest laws should not be applicable in  cases where participants are both consenting adults over the age of 21.  In addition, for those who have been convicted in such circumstances should have both the custodial and non-custodial elements of their sentences reviewed with a view to being quashed in light of any change to the law.    

57 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to To the Honourable President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled

Australian Senate Please decriminalize Adult Consensual Incest; allow CIAO marriage

Whereas the 1970s Royal Commission into Human Relations recommendation was that there be no law against incest for consenting adults; Whereas the 1990s Model Criminal Code Officers Committee report recommendation was : The Model Criminal Code should not provide for a criminal offense of incest." Whereas Same Sex Marriage has been legalized in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, USA and many other European countries Whereas intolerance discrimination and hatred ( incestophobia) against CIAO people is just as bad now as it was for gay people (homophobia) in the past and whereas up to 40 countries have already abandoned laws that punished ACI (Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, People's Republic of China, Estonia, France, Georgia, India, Israel, Italy ( if no scandal is caused) Ivory Coast, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kirghiz Republic, North Korea, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands ,New Jersey (US) Pakistan, Portugal, Rhode Island ((US), Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Tajikistan, Thailand,Turkey,Turkmenistan Ukraine,Uzbekistan ) Request: Therefore, we the undersigned call upon all our leaders to act now to de-criminalize Adult Consensual Incest (ACI) and to extend the marriage laws to allow CIAO people to marry and to make fair compensation and apologies to CIAO people and their family members who were unfairly and cruelly discriminated against in the past due to persecution by government officials

41 supporters