Just a quick few words to keep in touch!
Four years ago, almost to the day, I was sunning myself on a beach in Fiji wondering what the poor people were doing? As it turned out I didn’t have long to wait before finding out the hard way!
To the young, time is no big deal. However, to the elderly it is everything because they start to run out of time fast. The miscreants, be they with Storm or the Banks involved with that firm, that mishandled our money and abused our trust for their own nefarious ends continue to remain untouched by this financial disaster. Why? Largely because our judiciary system is unwieldily, ponderous and designed for the most part to make those operating within it richer rather than focussing on establishing swift and deserving justice. Basically, it is all about making money and the law comes a poor second. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the last Court session I attended.
Unfortunately, I was only able to attend on the Monday but I gather from my brother-in-law that I missed little on the Tuesday and Wednesday because in the context of the forthcoming trial these are merely the preliminaries where everyone on both sides is vying or manoeuvring for a legal advantage. A bit like a battle if you like where the generals are seeking out the best ground.
As I have already stated, much of what was discussed in Court to my mind results from a legal system designed to make money rather than seek out justice for those that have been wronged. If we all start from that premise, we are inclined to become less disillusioned about it all.
It was mentioned that some 96 witnesses would be called? "Sleepy time and the living is easy!" Combine that with countless numbers of documents that will be produced and points of law argued and you have what threatens to be a case that will drag on for ever!
For what it is worth, the day commenced with the ASIC lawyer outlining ASIC's charges against the Banks in relation to UMIS. The BOQ lawyer basically had 4 objections to this and had documented these to the Judge.The Judge, however, upon reading such stated that he was unable to actually define what the BOQ's lawyer was actually objecting to, which given the track record of these jokers should come as no surprise to any of us. The BOQ lawyer said he would clarify such at the next meet.
The lawyer for the CBA (a pugnacious little fellow that was probably an ankle biter when he was a nipper) then got into a running argument with Tony Morrison (acting for our side) over our pleadings asserting that their should be greater clarity as to what was actually being alleged. Lees (also on our side) then took up the reins suggesting that his particular brief could be used as the framework for how these proceedings should be conducted.
You will gather from all this that confusion still reigns supreme within the Court because not only are legal arguments complex, but a number of different legal issues are being considered at the same time; legal issues, incidentally that may conflict with one another. For instance, if UMIS is found, it must have an impact on the cases before the Court which hinge on contractual breach etc. To my mind, running UMIS and these cases at the same time rather than establishing the question of UMIS' first is a bit like putting the cart before the horse but what do I know? Whatever, I do know that the waters have been muddied considerably and this is slowing down the process!
In the latter part of the day, Lees and the Macquarie Bank's lawyer were arguing to and fro about the witnesses that our side intended to call that would include among them employees from the Mac Bank. Mac's lawyer seemed anxious to limit or have some of these witnesses barred for reasons which I was not able to discern at that time because I had to catch a train home. By this time I was past caring anyway.
Trying to apply commonsense to the way our court system works is somewhat difficult. It seems to me that it is designed primarily to churn money out of people (victims) in much the same way as the banks do. Most of the matters now being discussed to my mind could have been clarified outside a court room between the lawyers and the judge to save time and money. However, that's not, it would seem, the object of the exercise but rather the reverse.
The law has always fascinated me but from what I have seen of it in action these past few years, I would never survive in such a system which is staid, stodgy, lumbering and somewhat out of date in a modern world. Let's at least hope that this farcical system can eventually lead those that operate within it to a fair and equitable solution for us all. Hope springs eternal!
For those of us that will be sitting through most of these proceedings, let's hope that we not only obtain justice but also keep our sanity. Quite frankly, to date, these proceedings have been as boring as all Hell! What happened to Perry Mason? Can someone put a call in!
Apparently, there's another session today but I got the message too late to put in an appearance. No doubt my brother-inlaw will let me know what transpired if anything!