South Australia has joined Victoria and Queensland in endorsing the use of preferred pronouns in courtrooms. The new rule requires attendees to refer to all parties by their preferred pronouns. South Australia’s Chief Justice Chris Kourakis said that it’s a matter of ‘respect.’
Critics claimed it could serve as a form of “state-sanctioned abuse,” especially in cases of violence against women. The chief justice said that was completely wrong. He clarified that a victim of crime would never be asked to address an accused person in a way that caused the victim distress.
Chief Justice Kourakis said the rule simply allows lawyers and others to inform the court how to pronounce their names and recognise their preferred pronouns. He stressed the presiding judicial officer retains control over all forms of address in court.
Binary Australia founder Kirralie Smith isn’t convinced by assurances that female victims will be protected, saying the policy makes “an absolute mockery of the truth.” Binary’s website says it was created “to push back against harmful gender theory and the aggressive ideological agenda.”
Ms. Smith has evidence of a male sex offender in NSW being described by a magistrate with pronouns such as ‘she’ and ‘her.’ “How utterly offensive, insensitive and outrageous to lie in the courtroom about something so horrific being inflicted on a victim,” she said.
“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?” Ms. Smith writes.
“Compelled speech is now a reality in courtrooms in South Australia, Victoria and Queensland. 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 Christian campaigner argued.
“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?” she asked.