University Decision Making
ONE of the absolute foundations of our democracy and legal system is the presumption of innocence of the accused and the need for the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused.
In July, Universities Australia released guidelines for universities’ responses to sexual assault and sexual harassment following the Australian Human Rights Commission report claiming unsubstantiated significant levels of sexual misconduct at universities.
University students and staff accused of sexual assault, including rape, are having their culpability determined according to a civil law-style balance-of-probabilities threshold.
This needs to be criticised for potentially undermining the legal rights of those accused of serious crimes.
University penalties range from fines to suspension, rescission of an academic award, expulsion of students and termination of staff.
A valid concern is that a person found not guilty of a sexual offence by a court could still be punished by the university. This policy’s standard is a clear contradiction of the legal rights of someone accused of a serious criminal matter such as sexual assault.
We should not be turning our universities into judge and juries to deal with such serious matters, which clearly require a higher standard of proof than a balance of probabilities; such indictable offences need to be left to the courts.
But yet again our universities are captured by asinine ideologies and "causes du jour" that they are prepared to ignore absolutely fundamental human rights for a #tag.
Dr Darren Pullen, Windermere.
RECENTLY my mother passed away after being a patient in Melbourne and Launceston hospitals for 15 months. During this time my sisters and I were told by many doctors Mum had to walk, exercise, eat and drink more.
There were exceptional nursing staff that could encourage Mum to do anything, unless of course she was too unwell to participate.
When nursing staff were unable to encourage Mum, my sisters and I who visited almost every day, would help her with walking, eating and drinking.
The nursing staff in all the hospitals had their hands tied because they would all say “we can encourage but we cannot push your mum to do these things”. If someone doesn’t want to walk, shower, eat or drink they don’t have to. We were not trained nursing staff and would have preferred to just visit and spend quality time with her for the day, but because she was our mum and we loved her we encouraged her to do these things.
Something needs to change, and whoever makes these rules needs to review them, or otherwise resign because they urgently need change.
Lynette Edwards, Prospect.
I WANT to send a heartfelt thank you to everyone who supported me throughout my election campaign. I am proud of my efforts and results.
I love Launceston and am committed to continuing to serve our wonderful community and am particularly excited about all that we can achieve over the significantly transformational years ahead. Thank you.
Janie Finlay, Launceston.
Support for inquiry
REGARDING Dr Wylie’s letter (The Examiner, October 10) about aged care.
Perhaps she should advise her patients to seek legal advice before signing up to any of these packages.
I wish I had been given this advice.
I had no knowledge at all about these levels or indeed my aged care (three years ago).
For instance anyone on one to two level would be far better off (and in reasonable health) not accepting these packages.
The government is currently taking a daily fee and depending on your assets could be in excess of $50 a week if a pensioner or one pension with only a very modest and hard earned home, it is over $35 (out of your bank).
One could pay a private person that amount once a fortnight to clean and tidy and choosing a reputable person get value for money.
Now I am locked into an agency, which promises everything and delivers hardly anything, and if I jump ship it’s going to cost more than $1000.
Is this fair and just?
If I go into care (god, forbid) then I’m going to be forced into selling the home my husband hoped to provide us with in old age and a bit each for our kids.
After two years I’m told they can make me use the sale of my house to keep me in aged care and take my pension away.
If I live to in my 90s, as my parents did, they will get almost nothing, it will be eaten away.
Yes level three and four plus disability need all the help they can get, which is badly lacking.
I’m only level two and don’t get all they promised.
People with diminished intelligence are very much at risk with these packages.
I am reasonably intelligent and they fooled me, as Dr Wylie said, there are good providers.
Who are they and where?
These people should be made accountable or gotten rid of (named and shamed) who are just grabbing money and laughing all the way to the bank.
I could say a lot more.
I’m 88-years-old, still fit and full of fire, I don’t like where our country is heading.