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Human Trafficking today is Slavery. Government collusion allows this trade to exist !

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Human trafficking. Main origin (red) and desti...

Human trafficking. Main origin (red) and destination countries (blue). Data from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime () 2006 report ( (Photo credit: Wikipedia) 

Over the past while we’ve been told stories of young girls being abducted and sold on to the sex trade. While we all should reel in horror, we’ve become numb to such stories. These horrible things happen. We do absolutely nothing to voice our opposition to what is happening because we know little or nothing about this well organised, profitable, criminal activity. We watch TV and see films that touch on this illegal trade but once the channel is changed, it is forgotten.

I first became aware of this sick trade when a young nun gave a talk about it some years back. At first, I though her talk was about prostitution. As a lawyer, I’m aware of the horrors associated with prostitution and have seen the devastation of families when one of their own embarks on a life in the sex trade. Most men think of it as a bit of fun but that is far from the truth. These girls are usually victims of poverty and in desperation turn to the streets to scrape out a living. Most do this at great risk to themselves and many die at the hands of pimps who inevitably control their every living moments.

I digress. Following the talk by the Nun, I made enquiries from fellow lawyers concerning this issue and had my eyes opened wide. The trade in people is run by criminal gangs the world over. Many source their victims from impoverished neighbourhoods in third world Countries. The Pimp, for want of a better word, pays a pittance to the family, maybe an uncle, and then talks up the situation to the young girl that they are being taken to a new world, Europe and beyond, where they can have a great life and make loads of money. The truth is somewhat different. They are sold on to other Pimps and put to work in dreadful brothels where they are controlled by unscrupulous criminals.

What sickened me was that, bad enough as it was that these women were being detained against their will by criminal gangs, it was the blind eye being turned to this criminal activity by the Police. In fact, upon further examination, it was an activity by which the Police enriched themselves. There was open collusion with the police who frequented these brothels and was a nice little earner for them. It was also the police who transported the women in many instances and made sure that should a complaint have been made to the Authorities that the women were quickly dispatched to further afield to frustrate any proper investigation.

There is a term ‘war whores’ which I find particularly offensive. They are akin to collateral damage. These women, girls really, are used and abused in the most horrible manner. I have been made aware of cases where an international police force has been put in place to monitor ceasefires or similar. These are usually under the Flag of The United Nations. In reality they are police men and women and indeed others, who are contracted to work for Private Companies for a period of time, usually 6 or 12 month contracts. They are supposed to uphold the law and protect the civilian population against war crimes, crime in general and to investigate criminal activity. Looting is rampant but so is the illegal slave trade. Instead of working to help the girls get away from their criminal Pimps, the opposite has happened. A complaint by a member of these Private Police Forces will see the Officer concerned blacklisted and sent home. The story of Kathryn Bolkovac is a case in point. An American policewoman who tried to expose corruption in Bosnia within the UN Mission. She had been recruited by Dyncorp. What happened in Bosnia is now happening wherever the United Nations employs these Private Security Firms to supposedly uphold the law and protect citizens. This abomination must stop but I have my doubts whether the United Nations or the Governments at whose behest they are acting, have the will to do anything about it.

So, beginning with a story about  human  trafficking by a young Nun, my research has concluded that the criminal trade is yet another arm to the Drug Lords seedy business, which in turn is a great earner for the businessmen who are at the top of this criminal pyramid. The collusion with so-called respectable agencies is sickening in the extreme. This problem can only be tackled at the highest level of Government and I am not optimistic that our Government today are the slightest bit interested in standing up for these victims. There’s no doubt in my mind that the IMF, EC etc. are more on their minds for financial matters such as ‘saving the Banks’, instead of saving the lives of the weak and vulnerable who are being openly traded throughout our society today. Lip service is paid to the anti-human trafficking lobby but their words are hollow.

So when you look up porn on the internet, spare a thought for those who you are viewing. Some may not be there by choice but are plying the trade imposed upon them by the criminals who are allowed operate openly by our so-called democratic governments. A lot of those women are posing with a gun pointed at their heads !

LegalEagleStar , Tuesday , 10th. July , 2012 .

Written by LegalEagleStar

July 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Shatter’s Legal Services Bill spells doom for the young Junior Bar and protects the Elites to the detriment of the Citizen.

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English: A barrister on a mobile phone outside...

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I have spent some time investigating the effects of the proposed changes in legislation by Minister Shatter and discussed same with several members of the Irish Bar. It was only after speaking with a young junior barrister that I realised the full impact of what will in fact take place. The article that follows has been written by a young female barrister and gives an insider’s view of what the reality of the changes will mean in practice. It is clear to me that Alan Shatter certainly did not have the interests of the Irish Citizen at heart when he set about drafting his proposed reforms. While those that know me are well aware on my views on the Troika and their suspicious agenda, I feel that the implementation of the proposed reforms will undermine the practice of law in this country to the detriment of the citizen and should be opposed by all right thinking citizens before it is too late. Beware of the Elites and their hunger for power and control of the citizen. Don’t say you haven’t been warned !

The Legal Services Regulation Bill[1]

The Irish legal profession has always relied on the essential requirement of being a completely independent profession, the new Legal Services Bill completely undermines that notion. Indeed it would seem that it is Minister Shatter’s personal agenda which is at the core of this new bill. An agenda which undermines the core of the Irish Bar; independence. The Bill comes about as a requirement under the EU/IMF bailout and is said to be a necessity in the profession. While it is acceded that some reform in the area of legal services is both needed and welcomed, both by the Bar Council and indeed the Law Society, the Bill in its proposed form goes far beyond the proposals presented both by the Legal Costs Working Group and the Competition Authority as well as going completely beyond and even against international principles in regulating the legal profession.

The public are being wrongly informed that this Bill will reduce costs for the consumer when in fact, the opposite will occur. The ‘independent referral bar’ is an equal opportunity workplace, based in the law library where barristers are sole traders. If the idea of barristers forming partnerships with other barristers, solicitors, tax accountants etc come into place, the independent referral bar will be lost forever. As a Barrister in the early years of practice, the idea of barristers going into such partnerships is a frightening proposition. Many colleagues with years of experience and established practices will have people lining up to form partnerships with them but many young practitioners wont have such luck. Such partnerships would likely divide the legal profession even more in that the big firms would go into partnership with several established, highly ranked and busy practitioners and create a sort of monopoly, not dissimilar to the US financial sector, and look what happened there. Smaller firms would find themselves in significant difficulty trying to complete with such large firms and while the bar in its current form is accessible to all, the proposals make access to barristers and access therefore to justice more restricted.

The proposed changes would create a barrier for those people who wish to join the profession and indeed those younger practitioners wishing to stay and establish themselves within the profession. The UK have a system known as chambers. In the English Bar Council’s 2006 Report, only 17.5% of people graduating from the Bar would obtain a place in chambers. This stage is known as pupilage (similar to what is referred to as ‘deviling’ in this jurisdiction) so this system, if brought about here, would restrict access to the profession even further. It is difficult in the current economic climate to establish yourself as a self-employed person in any area of work, not least the bar. However, the current system, while it is competitive and challenging, what it provides is an equal opportunity for every person who has qualified, a chance to make it in the profession.

A chambers type system, like that which exists in the UK, would see several partnerships consisting of a select few barristers and which would in return be linked to the large firms and therefore increase costs rather than reduce them. Young barristers frequently take on cases on a pro bona basis for several reasons, experience, interest of justice etc but also to establish relationships with solicitors, an obvious essential in creating a practice and living for yourself at the bar. A young barrister, if lucky enough to even get in a chambers or partnership, would not be able to take on such work without the approval of a higher power. This cannot be said to increase access to justice and reduce costs. The barrister is restricted in taking on the work and the consumer cannot then afford to take the case.

While I see these changes from a young practitioners point of view, these partnerships would also cause serious problems for the consumer and access to justice from their point of view. Should they not be able to afford the sometimes inordinate fees which these larger firms charge, they in effect, cannot have access to some of the more established barristers or barristers who have an expertise in a certain area, as they will be in these partnerships. In the current system, whether you go to a large or small firm, if you request a particular barrister for whatever particular reason known to yourself, if they hold themselves out as an expert in a certain area, they must take on your case[2].

The Bill brings about new levies for practitioners, another cost which will impact the small firms and young barristers. The new structure will bring about a situation where barristers liability insurance will be more specific as opposed to general as it is in its current form. As a young barrister, you take work where you can get it and you pay a general insurance amount which covers all areas. The new proposals could change that and your premium could go up depending on your areas of practice and therefore you would have to turn down work, which could be a new area and therefore a new opportunity for you, because you haven’t got insurance to cover you in that specific area. No young barrister would ever or should ever have to turn down work.

A huge issue for the profession in general is that it will effectively be governed entirely by the Government or, more specific, the Minister for Justice, therefore removing the word independent from every area of the legal profession. The proposed Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) would be the regulatory body which would contain eleven members, seven of which would be entirely Government appointed. Only four from the Bar Council and Law Society. Practitioners would pay for this and the Government would run it. The LSRA would and must refer to the Minister at almost every point or hurdle.

The ‘separation of powers’ which is at the core of the Irish Constitution is in serious jeopardy. Justice must not just be done, but be seen to be done. The former Chief Justice Ronan Keane recently stated that regulators of the legal profession must not only be seen to be independent but be truly independent in every aspect, the Legal Services Regulation Bill completely “Shatters” that notion.

[1] Reference is made to the Article “The Legal Services Regulation Bill”, Shelley Horan BL. The Bar Review, Volume 17, Issue 1, February 2012.

[2] This is known as the ‘cab-rank rule’

LegalEagleStar , Friday , 16th. March , 2012.

The War on Drugs, eh Yeah !

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A businessman's silhouette.

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Ireland, 2012. Drug Wars rage. Not as you’d imagine though. The Gangs are fighting each other for control of their areas. A Turf War is raging.

What the Citizen would like to see is The State taking on these Criminal Gangs and winning. What chance have we of attaining that satisfaction ? None whatsoever !  I am not a criminal lawyer and so do not have the insights into the workings of the criminal gangs in Dublin and throughout the entire country, but I am practising law now for more than thirty years and that in itself has enlightened me to what is actually going on.

I see families devastated as a result of their children being addicts and more who lose children to both the drugs themselves as well as being the targets of the actual gangs distributing the deadly ‘stuff’. This hasn’t happened overnight but has steadily grown from the 1970s when, if there was a political will to target the issue at that early stage, we could and would have been saved from this cancer which is destroying the very fabric of our society.

We read sensational pieces daily in the tabloids. We are shocked but also fascinated by the gangland out there and this fascination leads us to rush to the shops to purchase Paul William’s latest offering in whatever newspaper has signed him up, or indeed one of his best selling Books, dishing up the latest sensational offerings and insights into what is really happening. We are disgusted but fascinated. I sometimes wonder what we would do on a Sunday afternoon if we were starved of the latest  Revelations. Sunday just might not be worth living !

While MrA and HoodieB and HatchetC are focused on as the New Mr Big, I sometimes wonder how some of these questionable individuals could actually be running such sophisticated operations. If we are to believe the Spin then they do and are public enemy number one. We get agitated as to why the State does not ‘get’ these individuals. Well, I for one do not believe all I read and have held the view for some time, that no serious attempt will ever be made to tackle this crime. None.

Over the years I’ve listened to many a frustrated Garda who, while pulling out his/her hair, has enlightened me to what they believe, is actually going on. Why the lack of resources ? Lack of manpower. No serious attempt to tackle this attack on the citizens of our State? Well simply put, they are targeting the wrong individuals. They know this. MrA, HoodieB and Hatchet C, are just foot soldiers of Mr Big.  Mr Big himself is one of society’s gentlemen. Respected and beyond reproach. Mr Big, is in fact protected by the State. In fact, he might indeed be in Leinster House itself. But seriously, how can I say such outrageous things? Well, surely those I’ve spoken to in the Gardai cannot all be mistaken. They are angry. They feel used and abused and indeed their lives are in constant danger. No longer are the public outraged and angered by the assassination of Veronica Guerin when our Government Ministers were propelled into action to apprehend her killers. What do the Gardai who worked on her case actually think of what has happened subsequently? Well not a lot. Now with the Minister for Justice, following in the footsteps of his esteemed predecessors, determined to further diminish the resources available to them…well they are demoralised and wonder why we have a Drug Squad at all.

A possible solution and indeed one which has been dismissed by the Government out of hand, has been to legalise drugs, all drugs. Bring in legislation which makes the importation and distribution of all drugs legal. Set up a well funded Regulatory Body to control the whole industry. And indeed it is an industry. Impose High Taxes. Well, it could bring in the Billions of Euro needed to rescue our economy as well as rescue those poor citizens who are addicted to these same substances. Every user must register with the Health Boards and in so doing will be entitled to treatment. For once the victims will have a refuge and people who care about them, while Mr Big, if he is ever uncovered, will have  to declare his vast income and pay up his taxes.

While I might dream of a bloody but successful end to the Drugs War with the decriminalisation of Unlawful substances in this State, it will never be allowed happen. Mr Big has too much to lose. Mr Big is of course a respectable businessman you must remember. The Troica are here to stay and they determine where our resources can be deployed. They have already determined where our priorities should be and a War with Mr Big is not on the Agenda. Sure Mr Big would be in good company as he no doubt is instrumental in the imposition of the Troica on us in the first place.

If we’re serious about tackling the Real Drug Barons, society must change radically, puting the interests of the Citizen first. Well Enda, fancy tackling Mr Big ?

LegalEagleStar , Monday , 13th. February , 2012

Written by LegalEagleStar

February 13, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Are we really the ones with the Brass Neck ? You v. Insurance Co.

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wall of banks

Image by Dystopos via Flickr

We’ve all heard the stories about the Mafia and their influence over politicians. Maybe not the Mafia itself but some other equally obnoxious grouping of wealthy gangsters who influence our lives to our detriment. In Ireland today, it is my opinion that the citizen has been targeted by unscrupulous individuals and companies as never before. I suppose the most obvious matter before the people at present is the totally unjust and indeed the scandal of the working man having to pay out of his own pocket to cover the debts of the wealthy gamblers who have bankrupted our country. Well haven’t we been targeted for years in similar ways but made to feel it was us in the wrong? That it was our fault that Big Business was being ripped off by us and not the other way round. That we’re all chancers out to make a quick Buck at the expense of what have been portrayed as seemingly Charitable Institutions. In this particular case, I’m referring to the Insurance Industry.

Our Government scream at us that we need our Banks. That civilisation as we know it will come to an end without them. Bail them out at any cost, and then repeat as necessary. They take a similar view when dealing with an allied industry, The Insurance Companies. It is not too long ago that the Insurance Corporation of Ireland, owned then by AIB , was ‘Bailed Out’ at the taxpayers expense. So bailouts include the Insurance Companies as well as the Banks. Why? Who owns these Insurance Companies? Do we? Is it a national insurance fund set up for our benefit? One would think so but in reality, well, the same people who own and use our Great Banking System. I’m reminded of an Insurance Individual that had retired as the returns on his investment were returning something like less than 60% profit. Post 9/11 he came out of retirement as profits of in excess of 85% were predicted. So, he had retired because he was not happy that his Profits from the Industry were not Huge as had been the case for years.

In Ireland we see on our Television Screens on a regular basis, the sight of You, yes You going on holiday after you’ve been involved in an accident. The voice over from this Insurance Company advertisement tells you in no uncertain terms that you are so doing at the expense of the rest of us. We have the Television Advert where you are seen as having an ever extending nose ! That exaggerated claims are a crime. That you are a terrible person! That You have caused a Claims Culture and that you are fraudulently claiming money from Insurance Companies that you are Not entitled to. Then our Government (enter Mary Harney)  told us that you cannot have big payouts AND low premiums. We were asked if we wanted Large Awards and abnormally High Premiums or if we want ‘normal’ awards and normal premiums. We are told that the Insurance Companies lose money as a result of our actions. The Insurance Companies don’t highlight the extent to which the ‘losses’ are often much smaller than they make out or not real at all. These ‘losses’ are used to justify steep increases in premiums but they don’t take account of the very substantial interest earned on the years premium that you pay up front and on the money put aside to meet claims made now but not paid for three or four years. The Insurance Industry has admitted in the past that the principle reasons for increases in premiums is the fact that Insurance companies ‘re-adjust’ to compensate rate reductions due to competitive pressure over the past number of years. Even this is not the whole truth.

In the past the Insurance industry persuaded the Government that if they abolished Juries, which were made up by You and your neighbours, that they would be able to reduce premiums. The Government followed suit and abolished Juries i.e. your say in what was fair and just. The Judges then assessed awards, not you. Awards went up but never did the Insurance Industry admit that Juries had got it wrong. That Juries had erred on the side of caution and indeed their awards were tending to be on the low side. That they should have been awarding Higher awards. Then they persuaded the Government to deny the citizen the constitutional right to bring a case before the Court at first instance and established the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, PIAB. This initially was openly labelled as a ‘Lawyer free Zone’. PIAB was and is made up by claims personnel recruited mainly from the Insurance Industry. So the citizen was expected to pursue their claims, on their own, denied the services of a lawyer ,the specialist in this area and deal directly with PIAB.  PIAB, remember have the benefit of their own claims handling specialists and indeed lawyers. Again the citizen, the victim, was being denied his/her rights and made to stand alone. Not dissimilar to the citizen standing alone against the Banks and their Building Societies etc.

BUT we are being conned, yet again. All the ‘competitive pressures’ is a smokescreen. You must hand it to the Insurance industry. They have such a brass neck that they don’t even get a red face when exposed. Insurance Companies are in the business of making money. They are there to make a profit for their shareholders. Those shareholders will get out of the Industry unless they get a high return on their investment. They are quite similar to bondholders who invest in Banks to make a profit. Bondholders have become the enemies of the people with talk such as ‘Burn the Bondholders’ but there is no such talk concerning the ‘Shareholders’ who demand high Premiums to satisfy their lust for, Your Money and on a yearly basis.

One of the best devices employed by the Industry has been to divide and conquer. Allow small business to treat everyone as though they are Frauds. And yes, all this propaganda and the millions of Euro spent on advertising has indeed worked well for them. Insurance companies now want us to regard anyone who makes a claim for whiplash injuries to be viewed as a possible fraudster until proved otherwise! They cite the disgraceful cases where ‘chancers’ and indeed criminals have made fraudulent claims. Yes, unfortunately there have been some and I for one would say that nothing short of prosecution and imprisonment would suffice to deal with such criminal behaviour. Such claims have been few and far between despite what you have been told. The use of Solicitors in the past has been an assist to the Courts in weeding out such cases. No solicitor in his right mind will take a case which he/she knows to be false. The Courts would and do throw such cases out. If a solicitor loses a case it is at great personal cost. Not a practise to be encouraged. If on the other hand you are referring to cases which the Insurance Company settles which you are then told is ‘suspicious’ then be aware, be very aware. In my thirty years plus practising personal injury law I have not seen a case been settled where such has been the case. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened but it would be so rare as to be almost negligible in the whole scheme of things. Of course the Insurance Federation will use such instances to their benefit as ‘justification’ for their actions in promoting their ‘Fraudulent Claims Culture’. That of course doesn’t mean that I haven’t heard Solicitors and Claims Assessors making such remarks and on a regular basis. Many cases where it was claimed that the injuries have been exaggerated have in fact seen people end up in great pain and suffering at a later stage. My view is that we can’t allow them to dictate what is fair compensation. They want higher premiums and lower awards. Courts and Judges, if not you serving on a Jury, must be the decider of what is fair in the circumstances of the particular case. A broken arm cannot be the same to an artist as to an office worker and today PIAB decide on what they alone consider proper. Only after PIAB, or should I say ‘The Injuries Board’ which they now call themselves, disposes or releases your claim can your lawyer take the matter over and pursue your claim through the Courts. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Last week I referred to reform of the legal system. I mentioned providing a level playing field. Well The Law Society at the behest of the Government restricted advertising by solicitors, in particularly those providing personal injury services. It was those solicitors, who for the first time in Irish Legal History, brought cases before the courts for people who could not afford to pursue their cases before the Courts. They made the law accessible to the people for the very first time. Law no longer was just for the rich but for you and me. This was done on a No Foal no Fee basis. That has now been outlawed and although some solicitors still take such cases, they do so at the risk of sanction by their professional body. The old saying is very true today:  ‘One law for the Rich and another one for the Poor’.

LegalEagleStar  Wednesday, 13th. April 2011.

Written by LegalEagleStar

April 13, 2011 at 2:38 pm

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