Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Law Without Justice

As in most countries in the West, Austrian family law is meant to serve the best interests of the children. But what if Justitia errs?

However, for Judge emeritus Lilian Hofmeister, Alexander’s case comes as no surprise in the Austrian legal system: "This is particularly true in custody wars over sons," Judge Hofmeister said. "There seems to be a new ‘rule of thumb’, which states: ‘Sons belong to their fathers’," she said. "In the course of my pro bono work, I have come across cases that I wouldn’t have thought possible from my understanding of the law," she added.

While she was not familiar with all the details of this case, she said that especially with parents raising their children religiously, courts often prefer the fathers to the mothers. "I often get the impression that fathers use women as baby machines," Dr. Hofmeister said, "As soon as the baby is born, they want to get rid of the mother(...), with foreigners, it is even easier." As a social critic and feminist, she sees the situation in Austria as "a ‘war against women as mothers’, something not yet being examined by the courts."

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