LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier has slammed the Waikato University report, which itself slams judges who it says fails to punish violent men, as a biased document supported by neither law nor the facts.
The report, published by the gender-focused and much criticized Ministry of Womens Affairs, has been criticized vigorously on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report because of its selective treatment of data, largely ignoring that much domestic violence was perpetrated by women also.
The two year study comes from the Waikato University academics Ruth Busch and Nevilole Robertson, who claim that men who are violent towards their partners are getting a lesser punishment than if they had assaulted strangers.
They urge automatic arrests for breaches of protection orders and effective punishments for men who fail to complete anti-violence programmes.
They also warn the Government against creating any more specialist Domestic Violence Courts which try to keep families together by convicting and discharging many offenders if they “voluntarily” complete anti-violence courses.
Two top judges have rejected the findings of a Waikato University report which says judges are failing to protect battered women by often denying urgent protection orders.
Chief District Court Judge, Russell Johnson, says he wrote the guidelines for sentencing in those courts, and there is no such scale used. On that basis, he questions the worth of the report.
Principal Family Court Judge, Peter Boshier, says the vast majority of urgent protection orders are granted. He says judges consider the protection of women from domestic violence as among their most important work.
Judge Boshier says the report is the personal opinion of its authors and not research. He was reported on the Stuff.co.nz website as saying he did not take part in the report because he believed the writers had a pre-set agenda.