In court you must tell the truth, unless you want to lie about your biological reality

In court, applicants and defendants have to swear an oath or make an affirmation to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. 

Except for when it might hurt a male’s feelings if he imagines he is a woman.

This new policy makes an absolute mockery of the truth.

Compelled speech is now a reality in courtrooms in South Australia, Victoria and Queensland. I have also experienced this in my home state of NSW.

Increasingly jurisdictions are claiming “it is a ‘matter of respect’ to address parties by their chosen pronouns, and integral to “ensuring public confidence in the proper administration of justice”.

“The Supreme Court, District Court, ERD Court, Magistrates Court, Youth Court and Coroners Court recognise that the correct pronunciation of names and use of the preferred gender pronoun is a matter of respect and is an important component of ensuring public confidence in the proper administration of justice,” SA Chief Justice Chris Kourakis said in a practice note released on Wednesday.

“As such, the court seeks to ­facilitate a simple process by which legal practitioners can provide, and the court can seek, guidance and clarification.”

The practice note indicates that prior to a hearing “a practitioner may, where appropriate, provide the court with the correct … preferred gender pronouns” of themselves or any other party to a case. “A practitioner may provide guidance as to the gender pronouns of a person in square brackets directly after the name by inserting the preferred pronoun,” the practice note reads. “For example: ‘The defendant [they/them]’ or ‘The defendant uses the pronouns they/them’.”

In April, Queensland Supreme Court Chief Justice Helen Bowskill released a similar practice note, recognising “the correct pronunciation of names and use of preferred forms of address is a matter of respect”.

The Victorian guidelines, also released in April, do not specifically refer to gender pronouns, but state: “Parties, lawyers and other participants are welcome to advise the court … (on) forms of address (such as Ms, Mr, Mx).”

How can anyone have “confidence in the proper administration of justice” if the magistrate or judge, along with the legal representatives and the public, are forced to lie about reality?

Already in NSW a magistrate has written a decision about a male exposing “her penis” to a child in a public restroom. 

How utterly offensive, insensitive and outrageous to lie in the courtroom about something so horrific being inflicted on a victim. 

As a direct result of this policy, male sex offenders who claim to “feel” like a woman will be afforded “respect” and referred to as she/her. The victims of violent and sexual crimes will have to endure insults added to their injury as the court indulges the criminals’ fantasies.

Can you imagine the trauma? 

How can there be any confidence of a fair hearing when the court is so ready to ignore and deny the truth about a person’s sex?

How can there be any confidence in the court when they decide that truth, evidence and facts are not as important as a male’s feelings who wants to be referred to as she/her?

How is it respectful to lie for the sake of a person’s feelings at the expense of everyone else’s feelings?

In my own cases before the courts, I have had to promise to tell the truth, all the while others in the courtroom refer to a male as she/her/miss. 

It really doesn’t give one much confidence in the proper administration of justice at all.