Closing Down Campus Kangaroo Courts
For years now, many Australian universities have had secret committees investigating and adjudicating rape. In late 2019, a Queensland Supreme Court case declared this is illegal. The Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan then instructed the university regulator, TEQSA, that universities should leave these crimes to be handled by the criminal courts.
Bettina has launched a campaign recruiting help from graduates of Australian universities, students, academic staff and parents and grandparents of young people planning to attend university. She’s asking everyone with a university connection to write to Vice Chancellors and Chancellors of that university, alerting them to what has happened and ensuring they comply with the law.
Here’s how you can take action:
- Download the draft letter below.
- Fill in letter, and address it to your university.
- Send to your past universities and local ones.
- Write separately to Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor.
- Email address for Vice-Chancellors are here.
- Send us interesting responses!
- Forward your letters to Education Minister Dan Tehan.
- Recruit others to come on board.
If you have queries or need help, please contact us here.
She’s also produced a video explaining these recent developments. Watch it here.
We are also launching a big social media campaign, with a brilliant little video telling the universities that we are watching them. We need you to help us get it out on social media, so please circulate it widely. You might like to donate a few dollars to help promote it so we can pull in the big numbers to get our message across to the universities.
For background, here’s a recent article Bettina wrote for the online journal Quillette, explaining the recent developments. And an earlier Quillette article where she discusses the manufactured campus rape crisis which was used to bully universities into getting involved in this territory. Here’s a longer version she wrote for Quadrant magazine.
Queensland Supreme Court decision.
In November 2019, Justice Ann Lyons made a judgement in a pivotal case involving a University of Queensland medical student who was accused of sexual assault by another student. Wendy Mulcahy, the lawyer for the accused student, took the matter to the Supreme Court arguing that UQ did not have the jurisdiction to adjudicate such matters.
In her landmark judgement, Justice Lyons concluded universities are only entitled to make decisions in sexual assault cases which have been proved in criminal court. You can read the judgement here.
This means it is not the university’s job to investigate or determine the guilt in sexual assault cases. The kangaroo courts operating in universities across Australia are now illegal.
Senator Amanda Stoker grills TEQSA
Late last year Senator Amanda Stoker grilled the university regulator, TEQSA, about the role of that organisation in encouraging the establishment of these courts. Lyons’ decision exposes TEQSA’s complicity in this issue as even more shameful. You can see her questioning TESQA here.
Justice Lyons accepted Wendy Mulcahy’s concerns that a university committee is ill-equipped to conduct a fair investigation. She notes that “it would indeed be a startling result if a committee comprised of academics and students who are not required to have any legal training could decide allegations of a most serious kind without any of the protections of the criminal law.”
Despite the Supreme Court having pointed out the problems associated with an untrained university committee attempting to usurp the functions of our criminal law system, the University of Queensland is determined to protect its kangaroo courts and is appealing the decision.
Background to the campus kangaroo courts.
Over the last few years Bettina has been speaking out on campuses about the rape crisis scare campaign. She was the only journalist in mainstream media to point out that the 2017 Human Rights Commission survey revealed remarkably good news about our campuses, with only tiny numbers of students reporting sexual assault, even when that was defined in the broadest possible terms i.e. including a stranger touching a student on a train to the university.
The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics has shown universities are 100 times safer for young women than the rest of the community.
Bettina is appalled that our universities are kowtowing to a small group of feminist activists and agreeing to lie about the safety of our universities for young women – risking deterring overseas families from sending their daughters to study in this country.
What’s behind the feminist’s campus rape scare campaign?
What really concerns her is the motive behind the activists’ campaign. These feminists are unhappy about the fact that juries rarely convict in “he-said, she-said” date rape cases when they don’t know whom to believe. Their aim is to get more rape convictions by persuading universities to get involved in adjudicating sexual assault cases using lower standards of proof and by failing to offer the accused normal legal protections – as has happened in America.
Universities introducing legislation to adjudicate rape cases
Some Australian universities have already moved in this direction. In 2018 The Australian published a list of universities that had introduced new regulations to investigate and adjudicate sexual assault on campus. Since then, many universities have made similar moves, whilst others have similar regulations on the drawing board and are deciding whether to proceed.
Bettina’s campus tour
Since 2018, Bettina has been speaking to student groups at universities across Australia, seeking to promote honest discussion about this issue and expose the reasons why activists are promoting such untruths about student safety. Here is her video outlining the major events which have happened in her tour. And this is a recent update.
Her first campus talk took place at La Trobe University in September 2018, after initially being banned by university administrators who claimed it clashed with the values of the university. After some negotiation, the university revised their decision and event went ahead, despite noisy protesters doing their best to drown out Bettina’s talk.
Riot squad needed to control protesters at Sydney University
At her second talk, at the University of Sydney, demonstrators took things to a different level. The student group which sponsored her talk were required to pay nearly $500 for security guards to obtain a venue and then these guards were overwhelmed by unruly protesters who blocked the corridor leading to the venue preventing most of the audience from attending the event. Members of the audience were threatened, physically jostled, some even flung against walls by the aggressive crowd prior to the riot squad being called in by security to control the protesters before Bettina’s talk could go ahead.
Formal complaint to the University
Bettina made a formal complaint to the University against protest organisers. See Bettina’s video naming the key protesters and spelling out the ways they breached the University’s codes of conduct and bullying and harassment policies. Here she reveals some amazing stories about past activities of the key troublemakers.
University of Sydney takes action against protest organisers
Following 8 months of investigation, the University finally took disciplinary action against the key organiser of the protest – Maddy Ward. See the video announcing this decision. When this video was made we were misled by the poorly worded communication from the University to believe four students were to be punished. Later we discovered that only Ward was charged with misconduct, leading to a one semester suspension from her studies.
Ward has always proudly taken ownership of the protest, but is now complaining about Bettina “weaponising the university codes of conduct against her”. That’s pretty funny because it was the authoritarian left that insisted on regulating behaviour on campus. They don’t like being on the receiving end.
Political action following Bettina’s protest
Soon after the Sydney protest, the Federal Government set up an inquiry into free speech at our campuses. The French enquiry recommended a voluntary code of conduct to promote free speech and Education Minister Dan Tehan urged universities to come on board, with some positive results. Many universities agreed to implement new free speech codes but it remains to be seen how effective these will be.
Truth blitz at University of Sydney
Meanwhile Bettina is taking further action to alert male students to the dangers posed by the move to adjudicate rape on campuses. In late February 2019, Bettina organised a ‘Truth Blitz’ at the University. She used students from other universities to put under student doors at most colleges a very detailed flyer warning male students about the university’s kangaroo courts. She also wrote to all members of the University of Sydney Senate providing evidence about the dangers this move poses for the university.
The tour continues
The student activists are working hard to prevent Bettina giving further talks on campuses. The National Union of Students has passed a resolution to stop her speaking and is funding protests against her. This is intimidating many student groups from hosting her events.
However, last year she spoke at UWA, Macquarie, and most recently at UNSW in Sydney. At the UNSW event she found herself surrounded by police and security officers who outnumbered the tiny group of feminist agitators. Here are the demonstrators in action – talk about a passionless protest!
She’s planning further speaking events at campuses across Australia. Please contact her if you would like to arrange speaking events at a university, either involving a student group or staff, alumni groups etc.
You might also like to support the crowd-funder raising money for expenses involved in her travel and costs for extra security, printing of flyers. Bettina is delighted by the widespread support she is now receiving from people all over Australia who are concerned about this issue.