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<< February 2009  | March 2009 |  April 2009 >>
Bush lawyers

It seems that a lot of the lawyers that worked for the Bush administration are struggling to get jobs, and are also coming under criticism. Some of them certainly deserve it such as Mr Yoo, who wrote the opinions that Presidents have sweeping wartime powers to circumvent the Geneva Conventions. These legal opinions have been described by a Professor of Legal Ethics at New York University as being, “sloppy, one-sided and incompetent.” It hardly makes you attractive for future employees, and the former White House counsel and Attorney-General, Alberton Gonzales, who resigned about allegations that he misled congress, has not found a job since he resigned in 2007. Another aid to Dick Cheney took more than a year to find a job after leaving his post and of course Mr Yoo will have to bear in mind that many European countries have laws which allow them to prosecute individuals, no matter where the torture actually took place. A New York Times article quotes the President for the Centre of Constitutional Rights, Michael Ratner, as saying, “I think people like you will be taken their chances if they want to go to Europe for a very long time.” The lesson is, if you give slanted and sloppy opinions that accommodate the desires and wishes of the current ruler, when he or she is gone, you may not only struggle to find a job, but you may not be going on holiday to many of the countries in the world!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Thursday 12-Mar-09   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Richter case

I referred to the Richter case previously in my blog and on 12 March 2009 the Constitutional Court delivered its opinion, agreeing that South Africans abroad, who wish to vote, should be entitled to vote. It was good to see that it was unanimous decision and that they have given South Africans residing abroad some time to register, but sadly only until 27 March or so. It really gives them less than two weeks to run along to the local Embassy and vote and I think that the vast majority of them are not going to be able to do so in time. If I were advising the DA, and to benefit from this, I would have a major campaign over Facebook, and the Internet, to get those registrations going right now but whether they do or not, remains to be seen and I don’t think you will get high numbers voting when you only have two weeks to register right now, but I do think it is essential for all of those people, who live overseas and most probably do want to come back here one day to feel a part of the process. 

To try and deprive them of their rights on the basis that it would be too difficult and expensive is simply a disgraceful argument in the first place. There is also of course the application jointly of Mr Kwame Moloko and 11 others, who is a chartered accountant currently practicing in Canada, who also wanted to vote. O’Regan J said, as part of her decision, “… We now live in a global economy which provides opportunities to South African citizens and citizens from other countries to study and work in countries other than their own. The experience that they gain will enrich our society when they return, and will no doubt enrich, too, a sense of shared global citizenship … To the extent that citizens engage in such pursuits want to take the trouble to participate in elections while abroad, it is an expression both of their continued commitment to our country and their civic mindedness from which our democracy will benefit.” The necessary forms to register can be found on the Electoral Commission’s website at www.elections.org.za.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 17-Mar-09   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  Comments
No fault says Noseweek

In the latest Noseweek edition of March 2009, which has had a tendency to cover Road Accident Fund matters for the last 10 years, and a recent editorial reminds readers that it is now 10 years since they exposed the case of Hoosain Mohamed & Associates whereby they were charging excessive fees or, as Nose Week put it, "cheating their mostly illiterate accident victims out of their Road Accident Fund payouts". The moral of the story, according to NoseWeek, is how dangerous it is to give the legal profession a key role and their administration of a Welfare System funded with taxpayers’ money. NoseWeek goes on to say, “Noseweek is still regularly contacted about thieving Road Accident Attorneys, the gatekeepers to the social security fund. But if you still think that lawyers representing accident victims are the only rogues exploiting the system, we must disabuse you of that notion: The RAF’s own attorneys are frequently as bad, or worse.” They go on to say that Parliament must legislate a no blame system so that the Road Accident Fund can fulfil its proper social security purpose. They also say that the attorneys’ Fidelity Fund is, “… little more than a cheap and grossly misleading PR exercise.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 17-Mar-09   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  Comments
Sunday Times article

The Sunday Times has an article today on the Road Accident Fund changes.  It does quote me and some attorneys and importantly asks the question whether the changes are in the interests of accident victioms.  They ask that you e-mail your opinion to tellus@sundaytimes.co.za

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Sunday 29-Mar-09   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  Comments

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