In reply to an application to appeal in the Court of Appeal, the court Registrar has lowered the cost of security for Wellington ’s unemployed Political Busker, Benjamin Easton to $4,740. Security is the money paid to ensure that the lawyers employed in the proceeding will be paid if they win. Mr Easton filed an application in March against a decision in the High Court by Justice Dobson. The judge ruled against him, a father of a father’s coalition in his application for a judicial review of a decision of the Broadcasting Standards Authority, on his complaint against a broadcast on Radio New Zealand ‘s Nine to Noon. Easton complained the broadcast was discriminatory against fathers. The broadcast was of a Family Court lawyer talking about a review of the Domestic Violence Act. The lawyer inferred that only men commit violence and only women and children are victims. Easton believes that the statements were appalling, misrepresented domestic violence and demonstrated the bias against fathers in family law. He also believes the broadcast was inconsistent with the statutory obligations of all of the broadcasting entities. The entities disagree, saying there is no need for any balance or censure against the lawyer’s opinion.
Easton‘s application includes finding that the lawyer acting for NZ on Air put in a falsified application to the High Court. He argues that by compiling an application on behalf of the Authority, which is the judicial and independent body of broadcasting, NZ on Air compromised its independent responsibilities to the Crown and thereafter misled the Court. “The public should be protected from lawyers falsely using the system; colluding to get the kinds of results from a proceeding that are best for their clients” says Easton . Additionally he states that NZ on Air has a responsibility to the public to ensure that his claims about an existing bias and discrimination in family law and the Family Court are brought to the public’s attention.
“What I am bringing for a test is information on what the public has no idea is going on where the broadcasters are acting apparently under a legal blanket that directly excuses promoting fatherhood” he continues. “In other countries such like policies have been labeled and vilified as propaganda, but in New Zealand we call it section 36 of the Broadcasting Act. What I have proved in the courts is that fathers are being demonised and now I am told I cannot test such an inherent injustice unless I produce money that the court already knows I don’t have. I have produced all the information about how much money I have which is nothing. How can I produce money out of thin air? I am an unemployed political busker not a magician or counterfeiter” he protests.
The Registrar is also under an obligation to consider whether or not the appeal has any chance of success.
“The Registrar has not made any statement about this at all” says Easton . “All the Registrar has said is that if I want to get into the Court I have to have more money than I have proved I have. I have 10 days to produce the security or my argument is lost. I am frustrated because I have already fully proved that a top lawyer from a top law firm has doctored a document in court protecting our Broadcasting Commission. I have also proved that the Commission and broadcasters like Radio New Zealand should have engaged my arguments long ago about how there is a functional discrimination and bias against dads in New Zealand . Now it seems, because I have proved the bias, it qualifies all authorities to treat me outside natural justice”.
Easton will file again in the Court of Appeal, appealing the Registrar’s decision. “I don’t have any choice”, he adds, “After a while, however, this kind of poor behaviour by our bureaucrats and professionals wears one down. It’s not surprising then”, he concludes, “that in New Zealand we lose one male a day to suicide when we are up against an unfair system caring so little that the dad’s lot is purposefully neglected”.