The account of Aaron Smale & # 39; about state abuse led to the Royal Commission of Inquiry. He believes, however, that the scope of the Commission's powers will make it the next chapter in the 20-year closure.
The Royal Commissions have an aura around them that gives the impression of the great powers exercised for the great cause.
What is not always understood is all the ways in which it can be broken. The best way to undermine the Royal Commission is to go into details in front. If you want to sabotage the Royal Commission, go according to the scope, funding, terms of reference and time frame.
Since the Royal Commission's powers of abuse were announced, the headlines have focused on the inclusion of the church, which is an extension of the scope. Most of the media did not understand what it meant. However, there were also no important details that are hidden in the scope of tasks.
First, abuse of the church.
I wholeheartedly support the need to investigate abuses in church, but I think that it should be completely separate. For a whole series of reasons, I think that both groups will be short-changed by combining both institutions in a single investigation. The state is a completely different institution than the church. It has complex legal structures and leaves a large paper path. Although some of these archival records have been violated, there is still plenty of evidence that the Royal Commission will be able to delve into this matter.
However, the church is a legal phantom. Although it has a complex and global hierarchy, it does not have much legal status. How will the Royal Commission be able to investigate such an elusive institution that still refuses to accept full responsibility in the global sense. And why should a taxpayer finance an investigation into an institution that is not responsible to the citizens of New Zealand?
Another misunderstanding is that this study is primarily about sexual abuse. Although this is undoubtedly the main issue, the abuse of states is much wider. He must ask questions about why children have been removed from their families, in some cases for trivial reasons; high level of physical violence; almost no education; the high number of Maori people in relation to their number. These issues do not seem to be the main topic of the survivors of the church.
There have been parallels with the Royal Commission regarding the investigation of sexual abuse in Australia. But this parallel is not necessarily correct. If the question of a large number of Maori children who were imprisoned is crucial to this Royal Commission (and we have been told many times), the more important parallel are Stolen Generations of Indigenous Children in Australia and North America.
Then there is logistics, i.e. resources. Confidential service of listening and help took seven years to hear from just over 1,100 victims of state abuse. That's less than 200 a year. CLAS had a narrow mandate and very limited resources.
The Royal Commission must listen not only to the survivors, but also to examine the role of the state in abuses, which is a complex and detailed task. Currently, he has over 500 people who have survived, registering interest in appearing before the committee, and this number will probably escalate over time. If even five percent of those who have gone through the social care homes in front of the Commission, the numbers will be counted in thousands, not hundreds.
Somehow, the Commission is to hear from all those who survive, investigate the role of the state in these abuses and many other matters, and do all within two years before going further, looking at the church's misuse.
But after examining this story for almost three years, one of the most disturbing things in the Royal Commission is not the extension of the scope, but the scope of the powers. The mandate covers the 1999 deadline. This has some serious problems and can cover some of the terrible behavior of former high-level politicians and current senior officials.
First of all, the draft scope of rights had a contribution from MSD and the law of the Crown. They are the agencies themselves that are responsible for the institutions in which the abuse occurred and which ensured legal protection of this abuse.
This is similar to asking the criminal to oversee a police investigation into their crimes. Conflict of interest is a term that comes to mind.
There has never been any credible reason for this date. Indeed, lawyer Sonja Cooper has clients who were not born in 1999, who were seriously used in state care. There were institutions that were closed before that date and after that date, so it is not a significant milestone. Abuse continues. Recently I heard about a child who committed suicide after being abused in a series of internships.
A small historical digression is intended to give a certain context.
At the end of the nineties of the last century, a collective lawsuit was filed against the Crown on behalf of over 40 former patients of the youth unit of the Lake Alice psychiatric hospital. The youth unit operated from 1972 to 1977 and has all the hallmarks of a barbaric experiment. Serious abuse, including rape and sexual abuse by both staff and adult patients (many of whom were criminals), torture with electroconvulsive therapy, serious assaults, illegal detentions and other serious crimes were alleged.
When the Labor Party came into power in 1999 (This is the date), Helen Clark and Annette King promised to improve the situation and eventually the Crown was dissolved by paying $ 10 million.
During the trial, they clearly confirmed the veracity of the charges. Helen Clark's letter of apology to the victims, signed by Health Minister Annette King, says: "What happened to you in the Children and Youth Unit at Lake Alice was unacceptable. What happened to the children should not be It's a pity that it happened. "
Apologies and withdrawals were meant to make everything disappear. It was not like that. A second batch of former patients also applied and was also paid.
To make matters even more complicated, the High Court Judge, Sir Rodney Gallen, was asked to evaluate the distribution of payments for the first group of reasons. Amazingly, that was all he was asked for. But being a man of some curiosity and integrity, he asked for a reason, and he examined documents and other evidence.
He was so terrified of what he heard and saw that he felt compelled to write a report, which was then properly disclosed, and the government fought in court, unsuccessfully to prevent quoting the media.
The Gallen report was raw and unambiguous. He described in a particularly eloquent way what he had discovered as "outrageous in extremes." He said bluntly that accusations of sexual abuse are not just allegations, but he thinks they did. He came to the same conclusion regarding other charges. To paraphrase, the state was guilty of running a lair of torture and mistreatment.
Police and Crown Law
The allegations were subsequently the subject of police complaints in which more than 40 former patients were involved (this number increased later). For reasons that have not yet been clarified, the police have not interviewed these applicants. After awakening for about eight years, they finally announced that there was not enough evidence to make the accusation, demonstrating a glaring example of intentional blindness.
All this despite the fact that the Supreme Court judge found conclusive evidence of serious crimes against children; in spite of the fact that Helen Clark confirmed in an official letter that this was the case; although the legal opinion is not based on a serious examination of evidence; although the UN has repeatedly asked why the allegations concerning Lake Alice have not been properly researched (he ironically asked about when Helen Clark was applying for the highest job).
So who told the police not to do their job? Was there any political interference? Unfortunately, the Royal Commission can not answer these questions because it can not ask them. After 1999, you see.
While the police were busy not doing work, the Crown Law was very busy. Officials advising government ministers as early as 1998. They called emergency bells. The government not only took responsibility for what happened at Lake Alice, but also other institutions that attracted attention.
Most Lake Lake applicants were subordinate to the state and passed through other institutions – Kohitere, Holdsworth, Hokio Beach, Owairaka and the like – that were under the care of the Department of Social Security. A similar allegation applies to these institutions. Lake Alice was simply a Pandora's Box that officials wanted to keep. In documents reaching back to the last century, officials have reported potential liability.
Holding the lid
In the first story I did on state abuse in 2016, I spoke with Ros Noonan, the previous Chief Commissioner for Human Rights. She told me, among other things, that when the issue of Lake Alice appeared after the previous prosecutor general, Margaret Wilson was under pressure from the Crown officials to "close" her.
Margaret Wilson refused to give an interview about this.
But I was told that she was trying to resist the pressure of her own officials and was willing to deal with Lake Alice in a more open and transparent way. It seems that she has met with the opposition of her fellow Labor MEPs, especially Helen Clark and Annette King, who did not want to investigate what happened and why.
The effect of all this was crown law. She developed and carried out a legal strategy that used all technical legal defense mechanisms to overcome the claims of people who were subjected to violence in state institutions. This strategy has not been canceled.
It may sound dry and technically, but it had some bad consequences and caused further damage to people who had previously experienced terrible abuse. I have seen spectacularly immoral arguments that were presented in our courts by the Crown Law (paid by you, the taxpayer) in defense of the defense. These attitudes permeated the entire state apparatus dealing with these claims. These attitudes began at the top.
And it was this attitude that meant the corrective system with which the government maintained itself was grossly unfair. He left a suppurating inflammation, which is one of the main reasons why the Royal Commission was needed first of all.
I have not yet specified the details of how this happened and how it happened because I was still denied access to the relevant documents under cover of legal privilege, despite the Lake Alice case being done and dusted off (there are litany of other excuses that are too bleak to repeat them).
But it is clear that at some point this legal strategy was signed at the highest levels of the government.
Helen Clark had to be in the lists and had to overlook her – she was responsible. It was not trivial because it had serious fiscal and political consequences. Michael Cullen was definitely involved after Margaret Wilson was shifted sideways to the role of Speaker, and he assumed the role of Attorney General (to be impartial, this strategy was vigorously pursued without significant deviation by the government of John Key & # 39; prosecutor General Chris Finlayson and ministers of the MSD, Paul Bennett and Anne Tolley).
Who was involved in these discussions and what were their decisions regarding how to respond to abuses by the state? Well, the Royal Commission will not be able to find out because the cut-off date in 1999 makes it impossible to ask these questions.
Here are some more questions that I am trying to get answers to.
What was the role of Peter Hughes (now a state commissioner) when he was the head of the MSD in 2000? What advice did he give to the minister and what instructions did he give his staff, how to deal with claims for abuse by the state's charges?
Again I had endless difficulties in getting answers. But the behavior of the MSD gives some hints – hired private investigators and the best QC to disperse victims in court in court. Or if you want to avoid fragmentation by QC, you can accept the lowball offer.
But the Royal Commission is currently blocked in the investigation of Hughes' decisions and actions.
I would also like to know the role played by Una Jagose (now Legal Counsel) in response to a request by the royal authorities for abuse in the state. I saw a letter in which she rejected the claim of her victim as a Crown lawyer, even though the coronation law knew that the alleged perpetrator had previously convicted children for sexual abuse. Some of these crimes took place at Epuni Boys Home, where the applicant was a resident.
Is this part of the conscious denial strategy, even in the face of clear evidence, knowing that the invasive nature of the trial would be too traumatic to deal with many victims? The evidence, ironically, led to further police charges and convictions against the same perpetrator.
Technically, the Royal Commission will not be able to investigate these questions because they happened after 1999. Out of scope, in the bureaucratic parliament.
If this date continues, the Royal Commission will be able to do less than me as an individual journalist. At least I can ask these questions. At first glance this is impossible for the royal commission.
If I'm wrong and the government and state officials have nothing to hide, why not just remove the 1999 deadline date? And let the Royal Commission look into what has happened over the last two decades? Why does Ardern and her government hold on so stubbornly at the cut-off date in 1999, when so many experts applied for its removal? Why can not the royal investigative commission on state abuse investigate the state's reaction to these abuses when the victims began to talk about it, which was largely after 1999?
It makes no sense, especially when it can take decades of victims of sexual abuse. Many victims of state abuse, when they finally gathered the courage to speak, were told by the Law of the Crown in a cold legal language that they were lying, adding more suffering. Who authorized it? We will not know from the current Royal Commission's powers.
In the previous article, which I wrote, I characterized you as a psychopath – completely devoid of remorse or empathy, manipulative, narcissistic, without insight into insulting them, high risk of re-imitating etc. In dealing with state abuse, I argued that the New Zealand State is a textbook case of a psychopath.
And again this diagnosis turns out to be frighteningly accurate.
Gallen's justice is understandable. The abuses that took place in places like Lake Alice were "outrageous in extreme conditions." But the same has happened with the state over the last 20 years. If the Royal Commission will not be able to investigate this cover-up, it will simply be the next chapter.
This will not be the Royal Commission. It will be Royal Omega.