Supreme Court rejects challenge to `residential schools'
Federal policy on natives doesn't create `actionable wrong'
Ruling dismays advocates for victims' compensation
The Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper, SEAN GORDON, OTTAWA BUREAU, Oct. 22, 2005
OTTAWAThe federal government cannot be sued simply because it took aboriginal children from their homes and placed them in residential schools, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled.
In a 9-0 ruling, the court said yesterday lawsuits must be based on damages suffered from specific wrongful abusive acts committed at the schools.
Groups advocating for compensation on behalf of residential school victims saw the ruling as a major blow.
"We're very disappointed. ... In order to really look at the issue, you need to look at the government of the time's policies; it was an institutionalized form of racist violence," said Beverley Jacobs, president of the Native Women's Association of Canada.
The government's residential school policy has been called "forced assimilation" and "cultural genocide."
The court also said that, while safety measures were "clearly inadequate" by today's standards, the "foreseeable risk of sexual assault to the children was not established" according to the standards of the day.
The ruling came in a case in which the court denied an appeal by a former B.C. residential school student.
It could have far-reaching consequences for others who claim they were abused in the church-run schools.
The court also found the appellant did not establish that the government violated a fiduciary duty toward the children, rejecting an argument that could have placed a much higher standard of responsibility on the government.
The decision confirmed a trial judge's finding that the federal government and the church were liable for 75 per cent and 25 per cent of damages, respectively.
The ruling also found the government and church jointly responsible, meaning if the church goes bankrupt, the government pays 100 per cent.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine said the decision establishes the federal government must accept responsibility for the abuses that took place in the schools from the 1950s to the early 1970s.
He added that Ottawa should move swiftly to settle outstanding claims.
Federal officials welcomed the judgment, and said its effects will reverberate well beyond the case.
"I think it is a very positive step and probably establishes some pretty important principles that apply well beyond residential schools, " said Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan.
The appeal arose out of a 1996 case brought by 27 former students of the Alberni Indian Residential School on Vancouver Island.
The ruling rejected an argument put forward by Frederick Barney in the case a former student who suffered horrendous physical and sexual abuse that the government must bear full responsibility because it didn't have the power to delegate care of native children to the church-run schools.
"The Indian Act falls far short of creating a mandatory duty to ensure the health and safety of children in residential schools," Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin wrote in a passage that court watchers say could have a broad impact on future claims.
The judgment appears to strengthen the government's negotiating position, but McLellan, who is overseeing talks to create an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, said the government remains committed to compensating residential school victims.
McLachlin found that Barney who was brutally sexually abused by a dormitory supervisor at the Alberni Indian Residential School in his youth was entitled to damages, but rejected his request to quadruple a lower court award of $125,000 in general damages and $25,000 in punitive damages.
The country's top court also considered whether the government and the United Church of Canada, which ran the school, were liable for the abuse those students suffered, and how the liability should be divided between them.
In the end, the Supreme Court struck down a B.C. Court of Appeal judgment that found the church was protected by "charitable immunity" and instead confirmed the trial judge's ruling that in the case of abuse victim Frederick Barney, the government and church bore 75 per cent and 25 per cent of the responsibility, respectively.
"One may sympathize with the situation of the church... however, sympathy does not permit courts to grant exemptions from liability imposed by settled legal principle," read the judgment.
Meanwhile, the government said it has called a first ministers' meeting for Nov. 24-25 in Kelowna, B.C.
The ministers will meet with leaders of the country's main aboriginal groups to discuss issues affecting natives.
UK National Survey
Scotland's National Newspaper
5,000 women polled
Half the women said that if they became pregnant by another man but wanted to stay with their partner, they would lie about the baby's real father.
Forty-two per cent would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, no matter the wishes of their partner.
Devotion and betrayal, marriage and divorce: how evolution shaped human love.
Associated Press, USA
June 1, 2004
South Korean husband successfully sues wife for Paternity Fraud and gets marriage annulled. Wins $42,380 in compensation Read More ..
Paternity Fraud Philippines
The Visayan Daily Star, Bacolod City, Philippines, BY CARLA GOMEZ, February 28, 2009
Bacolod Regional Trial Court Judge Ray Alan Drilon has annulled the marriage of a Negrense couple after a DNA test showed that the child borne by the wife was not the biological offspring of the husband who works abroad.
The family court judge ruled that the marriage of the couple, whose names are being withheld by the DAILY STAR on the request of the court, was null and void.
Due to fraud committed by the wife in getting her overseas worker husband to marry her, properties acquired during their marriage are awarded in favor of the husband, the judge said in his decision, a copy of which was furnished the DAILY STAR yesterday.
The judge also declared that since the overseas worker is not the biological, much less the legitimate father of the child of the woman, the Civil Registrar is ordered to change the surname of the child to the mother's maiden name and remove the name of the plaintiff as father of the child.
The complainant said he was working as an electronics engineer in the United Arab Emirates and on his return to the Philippines in 2001, his girlfriend of 10 years with whom he had sex, showed him a pregnancy test result showing that she was pregnant.
On receiving the news he was overjoyed and offered to marry her. Shortly after he went to Saudi Arabia to work, and his wife gave birth to a baby girl in the same year.
The birth of the child only five months after their marriage puzzled him but his wife told him that the baby was born prematurely, so he believed her, the husband said. Read More ..
The Daily Mail, UK
18th February 2009
An adulterous Spanish woman who conceived three children with her lover has been ordered to pay £177,000 in 'moral damages' to her husband.
The cuckolded man had believed that the three children were his until a DNA test eventually proved they were fathered by another man.
The husband, who along with the other man cannot be named for legal reasons to protect the children's identities, suspected his second wife may have been unfaithful in 2001.
BBC, U.K., September 25, 1998
Females 'stray to gather the best possible genes for their offspring'
Infidelity may be natural according to studies that show nine out of 10 mammals and birds that mate for life are unfaithful.
Experts found animals that fool around are only following the urges of biology.
New studies using genetic testing techniques show that even the most apparently devoted of partners often go in search of the sexual company of strangers.
Females stray to gather the best possible genes for their offspring, while males are driven to father as many and as often as possible.
"True monogamy actually is rare," said Stephen T Emlen, an expert on evolutionary behaviour at Cornell University.
Up to three million Britons may be wrong about who their real father is , experts claim. But using DNA paternity tests to discover the truth can cause its own problems.
BBC, U.K., May 16, 2003
Dad's got blue eyes, Baby brown...
When Tessa found out she was pregnant after fertility treatment, she felt a mix of delight and doubt.
This wasn't simply pre-baby nerves - she suspected that her husband might not be the father. For Tessa had started sleeping with a colleague when the stress of the ongoing treatment became too much.
Keen to build a family with her husband, she let him believe the baby was his. But her lover threatened to reveal all if she ended the affair, and Tessa soon fell pregnant again. This time, her lover started to make nuisance calls to her home.
Tessa had no choice but to tell her husband. "I said to him, 'I've had an affair and you may not be the father of my children.' So with that, he went up the stairs, got dressed and left. And that was it," Tessa says in Women Who Live a Lie, a programme for the BBC's Five Live Report.
THERE IS A story I used to find hilarious in my high school years about a not too bright man. He was light skinned, his wife was of similar hue, but their first child was born with very dark complexion (darker dan Bello, blacker dan Blakka).
When the man wondered aloud about the baby's complexion his wife assured him that the child was born dark because the child was conceived in darkness (they had sex with the lights off). The man accepted the explanation. Because he loved his wife dearly, he also ignored the fact that the child had other obvious signs of resemblance to the young dark skinned man who did their gardening. To fix the problem, the husband put flood lights, strobe lights, spotlights and forty other lights in the bed room so there would be no more darkness to create dark babies.
"Supporters of paternity identification bills point to a 1999 study by the American Association of Blood Banks that found that in 30 percent of 280,000 blood tests performed to determine paternity, the man tested was not the biological father." Read More ..
Volume of testing 310,490 for the 2001 study