Sunday, July 28, 2019

Complaint lodged against judge who made 'offensive', 'discriminatory' comments to Aboriginal defendants

He was simply describing Aboriginal reality

A previously-reprimanded Northern Territory judge's comments to Indigenous defendants were "disparaging, discriminatory and offensive, insulting and humiliating to Indigenous Australians based solely on their race", the president of the Law Council of Australia has said.

Comments made by Alice Springs Judge Greg Borchers will now be the subject of a formal complaint.

Court transcripts from the past year show Judge Borchers — who was sanctioned in 2017 for "harsh" and "gratuitous" commentary and "inappropriate judicial conduct" — accusing one Aboriginal woman, who appeared before him after breaching a court order, of failing her children.

"Yesterday probably was pension day, so you got your money from the Government, abandoned your kids in that great Indigenous fashion of abrogating your parental responsibility to another member of your family, and went off and got drunk," the judge told her. "Got the money from the Government, straight down, buy grog, pour it down your throat."

He told another defendant's lawyer that "anthropologists" might one day study "what's called Indigenous laissez-faire parenting" to shed light on "why it is that people abandon their children on such a regular basis".

In another transcript from March, Judge Borchers told an Indigenous defendant who had "dragged" his partner "though the house by her hair" that he was "just like a primitive person".

The comments appeared in the media last week.

"There is no doubt that these comments are racist," said Arthur Moses SC, president of the Law Council of Australia. "These comments are racist because they are disparaging, discriminatory and offensive, insulting and humiliating to Indigenous Australians based solely on their race.

"Those type of comments are not appropriate for anybody to make, let alone a judicial officer within a courtroom. "Engaging in racist stereotypes or making racist remarks is not upholding the rule of law on behalf of the community, and no individual worthy of the name of a judge ought be making such remarks."



Anonymous said...

Must not speak truth about aborigines.

Anonymous said...

Aborigines are above criticism according to <<>> This is part of the softening up process to rewrite the Constitution. If that is successful then it will be a crime to do anything but praise Aborigines. The truth is no defence.