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Cheryl King

"Days of Tempest" by Lea Anna Cooper, 263 pages, published by Outskirts Press Inc. Paperback $US13.95 E Book $6.00. Also available from Barnes & Also US distribution with Ingram, and with B & T; UK distribution with Gardners, and with Burtrams.
Liam Magill was the first man in Australian legal history to sue his ex-wife Meredith McClelland Magill for the deceptive fraud perpetrated against him by Meredith. Liam discovered in 2000 that 2 of the 3 children born during his 4 year marriage to Meredith were fathered by a trusted family friend Derek Rowe. Liam's case went all the way to Australia's highest court. The Magill case is being studied in law schools around Australia and the world. Liam Magill helped pave the way for other men to seek recourse through the courts for the same crime of paternity fraud. A great deal has been written about the case and is easily accessible on the internet. "Days of Tempest" reveals the dark side of the Magill story that the courts did not tell.

This is the true saga of who, what, when, where and why the fight for Paternity Fraud Victims and Men’s Rights began. One man, Liam Neale Magill, waged his eight-year war against all odds, within the Courtrooms of Australia. Together, in the company of his attorney, Vivien Mavropoulos and Cheryl King, Liam’s Enduring Power of Attorney, they sought a new classification for their Law of Deceit.

This landmark case, a major component of Australian Legal History, is currently being taught at Law Universities in Australia. The totality of the subject matter left a stain on society. With new avenues open, this precedent is giving hope to other Paternity Fraud Victims, who are following and continue Liam’s fight to change those laws.

Australia has been referred to as the Lucky Country. To an extent this is true, unless you have been married and discover that another man has fathered your child. Without being too crass, this situation (which happens more often than one thinks) is best referred to euphemistically as a grudge baby.

The issue is not only one of betrayal by a spouse, as this happens frequently. The issue is compounded when there are children conceived from this relationship. There are many issues that arise from this situation. Initially there is the betrayal of the spouse. Sure one has the right to feel aggrieved if this has happened, but what needs to be carefully examined in this situation is the effect on the offspring of this encounter. Firstly there is the issue of the child being deceived as well as the spouse. What more importantly has been left out is the DNA history of the child. If the child is conceived when her mother has had an affair with another then there are medical and ethical problems that exist. If in this instance the child’s biological father’s family (that is the man her mother is having an affair with) has a genetic disorder, let’s say for example a predisposition to breast cancer then the child has the right to know about this predisposition to breast cancer or whatever other genetic abnormality exists that can be genetically passed from one generation to the next and may be in her DNA. Ethically and morally the child has the right to know what her genetic makeup is. At least in cases of adoption the child is able to trace who the father is to obtain this DNA mapping. In Magill the issue has been hidden behind the deceitfulness of our judicial system and compromised by the ethics of our political masters.

In Magill v Magill the key players including the judicial system have shown little or no conscience, and morality has flown the coop so to speak. Bertrand Russell was right when he stated. “We have two kinds of morality side by side: one which we preach but do not practise and another which we practise but seldom preach”. In this instance we have a judicial system that preaches morality but neglects the collateral that is left strewn behind it.

One would have to ask the question in cases of paternity fraud whether the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child have been impinged in this issue. By not knowing the cultural, social, race, colour, language, religion, or political view points of the father then the child has been denied her cultural heritage. In my humble opinion this is a clear and unambiguous breach of Article Two of the United Nation’s Convention of the Rights of the Child.

Article Four of the Convention states that the Government has the responsibility to make sure that the rights of the child are protected. The decision by the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia have breached both Article Two and Four of the United Nation’s Convention of the Rights of the Child. In the Magill matter both the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia have lacked the character and fortitude to make the correct decision. J. C Watts stated “Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught”. In this instance a Justice of the High Court has been exposed with a conflict of interest yet we are faced with a wall of silence..

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