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How modern are Australia’s Courts?

8 min read

Only a couple hundred years ago Australia’s courts were drowning women or setting them on fire for being witches. A little closer to today’s time and they did not recognise Aboriginal people in the Australia constitution deeming them to be savages. And, now the Australian’s courts have adopted a secular system whilst pointing the finger at some of the world’s oldest religions as having their laws being out of date. But who is really out of date?

Take a closer look at Australia’s courts and you will notice high pulpits that the Judge presides over. And look at the Judge’s attire. What are they wearing? Seriously. They drape a dead sheep on their heads, and where black robes from the Middle Ages. And look at their disciples, the barristers. What are they wearing? Yes, you guested it; robes and dead sheep skins on there heads. And then you will notice that they have a crest above the heads of the Judges. Whilst an unspoken law, everyone must bow to it and if you don’t then your showing disrespect.

The gavel and hammer is an outdated symbol that should be in the museum. Indeed, the executive is still running a stick into wall of it’s parliament. Whilst young people in the United Kingdom are calling for an end to the Monarchy. Let’s face it, the modern person doesn’t respect the Monarchy and the word ‘crown’ on legal documents. We know ‘crown’ now means the government.

Why should it matter in today’s time what you wear to court? Is it to do with respect? Yet, we parade the Australian women’s Olympic team in underwear on the world stage and the former prime minister Tony Abbott use to wear budgie smuggler when in office and represent the people of Australia.

Why do we need to bow to a crest and why do the Judge’s need to be on high pulpits? They literally need to get off their high horses and talk to people in a modern manner. It’s intimidating to have a Judge on a pulpit and talk down to you. In fact, it’s downright disgraceful and disrespectful.

We go to court when we have a legal problem so let’s talk about it like adults and get rid of all the Middle Age relics. It’s time to modernise and make going to court easier by using technology so that we can attend court from the comfort of our homes unless a serious crime prohibits that.

Having a secular court system means that everyone is respected regardless of their background. Having to make people dress, speak and follow gestures especially bowing to a crest is disrespecting the individual as they may have religious or cultural reasons that they cannot make a gesture, or dress a certain way. If they turn up to court, then how can anyone argue that they don’t respect the law because they didn’t do a certain gesture or dress a certain way. Court is an intellectual affair conducted through the rule of law which governs an individual’s liberty and freedom.

The courts as they presently sit are suited to Anglo-Saxon Australians with deep seeded roots to the colonial invaders. Very rarely do we see ethnic or more specially people of colour in positions of power within the court system. In fact, I completed a Juris Doctor a few years ago and went onto complete my Practical Legal training with the College of Law in Australia. I went to attend this training course in male Islamic garb. I told the lecturer that I would never bow to the crest and that I wanted to wear my Islamic garb to court. He replied, ‘that perhaps I needed to choose another career.’

Why would he say this? Well, apparently the Judges want male lawyers to wear a suit and some have been rebuked for not wearing a coat into court. In addition to this, a political stunt by Pauline Hansen cemented into law in NSW that you must bow to the crest when entering a court room. This to deter Muslims from entering the legal field and punishing them further if they refused. Might I point out that this is a blatant breach of human rights law. However, they give a platform to this despicable human being who might I add is a white Anglo-Saxon Australian who didn’t even finish high school. On the other hand, a Muslim man such as myself with multiple degrees and qualifications is denied the right to represent other Muslims in Australian Courts as I refuse to bow to the crest and wear other than Islamic Garb. So, if your every wondering why there are no Muslim Lawyers that wear traditional Islamic Garb in court, then this is the reason.

In fact, if you make it past the education and practical requirements, they have another mechanism to stop a Muslim man like my self from entering. What is that? The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board. Keep in mind I have never been to Jail, and I have always been open, candid and honest with the board, more then I needed to be but I am an honourable man. If you see me then you will know immediately that I am a devote Muslim man because of my appearance. You may even think to yourself that this guy looks like a Terrorist. And, no I don’t blame you but the media as the media has portrayed Terrorist to look like me.

Although, I have had a tough life and being a Muslim I am an open target. I have been in fights and received charges, had some tax problems, which lead to debt problems and traffic violations. The last time I was charged was in June 2017. I went for a late-night walk and this Police officer started following me. Next thing I know I was against the Wall being search. He found a knife on my keyring, the blade being two centimetres long. Immediately after, he gets onto dispatch to send backup. A few minutes later, backup arrives, and my car is get then, ‘bomb searched.’ I wonder why? Anyway, I receive a charge for carrying a knife in a public place and faced court.

I read a similar incident happened with an Anglo-Saxon Australian women I think in Sydney who had mistakenly taken a pocket knife through the Court security scanner and was charge with a similar offence. In her case, the Judge apologised to her and dismissed the case. In my case it was late at night, the knife was two centimetres long, I didn’t know it was an offence as I used it for opening packets for my five young kids and nobody was around. Oh, and the policeman who charged me added that the only thing open that night was a BP that suggested that I may have been there to rob it. Perhaps, to justify the bomb search; regardless, of that fact that I am self-employed Accountant.

The Judge in my case remarked that many a people with a two centimetres knife have been caught doing nefarious things beside my rap sheet not having a pervious charge of armed robbery. An insult to my intelligence, if I was going to do such a thing I would have at least taken a bigger knife or perhaps a gun.

One thing the Anglo-Saxon Australia women wrote was lucky she wasn’t a Muslim Man otherwise she might have been facing jail time and I tell you I appeared to be close had I not spoken up in court.

Another thing the Judge said that I could have used it to stab somebody regardless of the fact that a few months prior my family was attacked by a racist Australian Anglo-Saxon Man who punched me in the head leading me to hurt him and I had the knife on my key chain but I didn’t use it. My fear was that if the police came by that I might be shot as the police have never helped me in Australia and seeing a guy like me they wouldn’t hesitant to shoot me. A case of shoot first ask questions later. Meanwhile the racist is free despite there being camera’s in the shopping centre. I am no snitch; so I didn’t report it as it happens occasionally but the police are of no help ever to my people.

Other then that charge I really kept my head down as all the 4 charges are from 2009. The Legal Practitioners Board has let in paedophiles, and killers but they refused me. Like I said, I am a second-generation migrant raised in Australia since I was five; a brown Muslim man who got married young at 19 and made mistakes as he didn’t have any family support apart from his wife. I was hustling (not drugs or anything illegal) at 19 trying to make ends meet. I wasn’t born into wealth or a good life like these Anglo-Saxon Australian people. Apparently, I must wait for a couple years before I have a chance but to be honest, I have never seen a brown Muslim Man in Islamic Garb in an Australian Court as a solicitor. I have however, seen them as defendants.

You might be asking why can’t you appeal it? An appeal won’t reverse the decision in relation to early consideration; it only asks them to have a look at it again at a huge expense to the applicant. If I put in an application for enrolment, then the high will look at it and air all my dirty laundry. My case will then become a precedence for other cases. I don’t like my dirty laundry being aired out as it opens the opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to exploit me and provide a platform for false accusations as they will point to my past, like the tax office did so many times unfairly may I add. The Australian Taxation Office will be another article as how can an entity be law maker, judge, and jury with no real oversight?

The whole legal system from admissions to the court needs to enter the 21st Century. As for legal admissions they still have a round table where certain privileged individual make decisions about a candidates suitability. This in my opinion is wrong. A candidate such as I who has no disclosable criminal history at this moment and has never been to jail but is denied. Furthermore, my personal matters I have paid for which should entitle me to a clean slate, yet I am further punished?  

People that want a gun licence have very clear requirements to meet which is fair, transparent, and dignified. Consider, a transparent admissions system like a gun licence or registering as a health care professional which I can do without barrier. A health care professional has more privilege and responsibility then a legal officer yet the standard of admissions as a health care provide is lower than that of a legal officer. These systems outline that the legal system is outdated, unfair and unjust.

A complete redesign of the court is needed in that everyone should be able to tell their version of events in a safe non-intimidating setting similar to having a chat to colleagues or classmates and working through the problem. No body should feel intimidated in court or have to attend court in a nervous or medicated manner as that does not serve the interests of justice.

How can Justice be served when the admissions, the court and its systems are outdated. Integration with modern technological systems and more transparency in the legal system is needed to provide everyone with Justice.

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