Tuesday, September 4, 2012 by Ivan CamilleriChamber to recommend lawyers� fees for divorce
Lawyers can charge more or less if they agree beforehand with the parties involved.
The Chamber of Advocates will soon be setting out how much lawyers should charge clients for divorce cases.
Our guidelines do not yet include divorce as this is a relatively new law and we need to update the fees listIn the absence of a specific guideline, it is currently recommending that they should charge the same fees as they do for separations.
According to the Chamber�s guidelines issued in 2008, lawyers should charge �580 for separation cases of married persons, irrespective of the number of declarations involved, and �930 in connection with consensual separation.
Although the guidelines are not set in stone and lawyers can charge more or less if they agree beforehand with the parties involved, overcharged clients can complain to the Chamber or to the Commissioner for the Administration of Justice to force lawyers to lower the charge.
A few weeks ago it was revealed that the former head of the pro-divorce movement, Deborah Schembri, was charging �1,300 for her services in divorce cases. She, however, defended her fees, stating that there are no guidelines when it comes to divorce and that the fees also included court and other administrative charges.
According to information published by the Justice Ministry, Dr Schembri, now a Labour election candidate, filed the lion�s share of the 615 divorce cases presented to the family court in the past nine months.
Asked whether Dr Schembri�s fees were in line with the Chamber�s guidelines, a spokesman for the Chamber of Advocates admitted that no guidelines exist.
�Our guidelines do not yet include divorce as this is a relatively new law and we need to update the fees list.
�However, there are guidelines for separation cases which we think should also be followed for divorce.�
Asked whether any complaints were filed to the Chamber over Dr Schembri�s �excessive� fees accusation, the spokesman declined to answer.
According to the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure, clients who feel cheated by lawyers through excessive fees can lodge a complaint within 30 days from receipt of the bill.
If the fees are determined by the Chamber to be excessive, particularly when compared to its guidelines, it may recommend action by the Commission.
The law specifies that the Commission can order lawyers to lower their fees. In extreme cases, the Commission can also censure lawyers or remove their warrant.
A Chamber spokesman said the lawyer�s lobby received complaints regularly and in some cases lawyers were asked to revise their bills.
-----------------------------The poison of Socialism.
What is the definition of hell, for a Socialist?
Somewhere where he has to mind his own business.
Rules and regulations, laws and still more laws...
Socialists want to legislate everything - possibly even the air we breath.
Collectivism is the dark side of the Europid Race.
Malta is the most Socialist Country in the world - even more than N. Korea.
The poison was injected into our veins in 1972.
It will take three generations to transfuse.
From CREDO: A book for the very few
Chapter 7 ANATOMY OF A COLLECTIVIST
The world today presents a picture of confusion. It is a world of conflicts; conflicts of every type and at every level; conflicts which appear to have different causes and objectives. However, behind this confusion and underlying all the social, political and economic turmoil, is the age old battle born with man himself. It is the battle of the individual against the collective.
When language was first developed, groups of word-coordinated humans showed themselves better able to survive than isolated individuals. The benefits of social groupings became manifest. It was then that the battle started. As ever more complex societies developed, two distinct types evolved. They are still with us today.
The first, based on individual sovereignty saw man as the centre of all things; saw him as living primarily and ultimately for his own benefit. Individuals however, still could, and did come together of their own volition for mutual benefit. In this kind of society the individual reigned supreme and the collective, the group, never became an objective in itself.
In the second type of social organisation man was made subservient to the collective. Individuals were dragooned into a tyrannical society and held to be nothing more than cells of an organism, the group, higher than man himself. Society was deemed to be greater than the sum of its parts. It became an entity in its own right and men existed for its benefit.
These two distinct types of society represent different ways of life. They are diametrically opposed to each other and hence, cannot coexist. They are in eternal conflict. It is this conflict which is the prime cause of the turmoil that afflicts us.
Today one has to recognise that the human species has been a battle of human cultures since long before the first recorded history, We have long since passed the point of no return. Natural selection has given way to human culture as the dominant factor effecting the future of our race. The battle today is between the ethos and the individualist, and that of the collectivist.
An individualist is a person who is able to stand apart from the herd. Able since he is a rational man who thinks for himself; who works out his own values, judgements and philosophy of life. Able as he knows what he wants and where he wants to go. Able because his focused mind is a productive mind making him self-sufficient.
A man who willingly co-operates with other men but is never a parasite. A man who trades his ability, the product of his mind, with that of others in a free, uncoerced exchange. An honest man. A man of unshakeable integrity. A man able to stand alone, naked and unafraid because he has pride in himself as a human being; a pride grounded in self-knowledge. A knowledge of both his abilities and limitations. � But most important of all, he is a man conscious of his own uniqueness as an individual.
A fearless man. A man unafraid to stand up for his beliefs, his ideas, his judgement of what is right or wrong. A man unafraid to take the risks he deems necessary � and to bear the consequences. A man of moral fibre, he is diamond hard. The individualist pursues his way of life not caring for converts, nor for others� opinion of him. � But above all he is a man who is unafraid of being different from other men. The Collectivists
On the other hand the hallmark of the collectivist is fear. The thought of being an individual � of standing apart from the herd, terrifies him. In such a non-person the experience of distinctiveness arouses anxiety. It generates insecurity. He feels isolated, cut off from what he believes to be a higher entity than himself; the mass. At this point his instincts drive him back to the warmth, the protection, the �brotherhood� of the group. He retreats to the safety that it offers.
The collectivist is frightened of being different. Such fear ranges from the essential to the irrelevant, from the sublime to the absurd. He is afraid of taking a stand on an issue of moral principle, as he is of wearing different clothes. As afraid of expressing an unpopular opinion, as of attending a social function alone.
For to be different means having to justify your difference. Having to earn the right to be different. It is so much easier, so much safer to merge into the landscape; to go unnoticed; to be one of the nails that do not stick out!
The collectivist has a morbid fear of competition. This to him means having to make his own way in life � getting what he deserves. It emphatically means no guaranteed free lunch, or anything else paid for by the sweat of another producer. Competition means standing on one�s own two feet; and here is the nub of the problem for the collectivist. Since he is afraid to take a stand, to take an independent decision on any issue, the collectivist lacks self-esteem.
He harbours a suspicion, a feeling that he may not survive in a competitive world and thus opts for some �Garden of Eden�, like socialism. Hence the collectivists fear of the very concept of challenge. Hence his aversion to risk. His supreme achievement in the modern world, the Welfare State, is dedicated to shielding all and sundry from every challenge, every risk. The price is high � equality in a uniform greyness and monotony.
But monotony is the spice of life for a collectivist! He is perfectly willing to sacrifice any chance of success in life, as long as he is protected from the smallest possibility of failure. For the collectivist fears change; and he is right to do so. It demands constant adaptation, evolution. And the collective cannot evolve; only individuals can � and not all of them either. Therefore the collectivist is fundamentally anti-life. For life is perpetual change, perpetual struggle, perpetual self-overcoming.
Scratch a collectivist intellectual and you will find a medievalist. A glamouriser of the middle ages; he yearns for that fossilised society in which every man had a distinct, unchangeable and unquestionable place in the social order from the moment of birth. A person was not an individual but was identical with his role in society. He was a peasant, an artisan or a knight. It was a world in which men did not have to invent and compete, but submit and obey. Collectivists today, be they of the communist, fascist, socialist or the religious variety, demand the same.
A collectivist fears responsibility. By constantly hiding within the group and shifting his responsibilities upon it, he refuses to recognise the stark fact that he alone, is responsible for his actions. The collectivist�s ideal is a society where nobody is called to account for his deeds; where it is the collective and not himself which is responsible for his livelihood.
Likewise he shirks from pronouncing judgement on his neighbour, fearing that he himself might be judged. He is the first to pardon the vilest deeds of a criminal, blaming them all on society. This is his hedge against his own possible aberrations in the future. In short, a collectivist lacks moral fibre.
In essence the collectivist is a mystic accepting the values of the group, of society, or of an �almighty spirit� on the basis of blind faith. He opts for the dark night of superstition in preference to the sharp, clear light of reason. Indeed the collectivist�s hates and fears rationality most of all; for the sum total of the collectivist�s fears is nothing but reality itself; and rationality is a focused mind throwing a spotlight upon reality. There is no such thing as a rational collectivist.
That is why a collectivist fears capitalism; the economic expression of individualism. Since its rise to prominence a mere two hundred years ago, capitalism has been the prime target of all kinds of collectivists. They fear the rationality it demands; the objectivity the free market imposes; the responsibility of decision making. They seek to escape the innovation capitalism constantly spurs; the competition it engenders � the challenges, the constant change. Capitalism encapsulates all the collectivist�s fears.
The collectivist is dominated by his fears. They drive him to seek escape and refuge from the world of reality. This escapism takes the form of a basic wish to reverse the formation of a separate identity, an unconscious desire to return to the womb. It manifests itself in the willing submergence of himself within the collective.
But if fear is the passive side of the collectivist psychology, there is an active, destructive side as well. It takes the form of envy and hatred towards the individualist wherever he may be found. Why envy? Because in spite of all his words, his actions, the collectivist, in his heart of hearts knows that his enemy has something which he lacks. The individualist is a constant reproach to the collectivist�s own cowardice, his lack of moral fibre. Basically he knows that the individualist, any individualist whatever his social status in life, has succeeded where he himself has failed. In a world for collectivists, the individualist is a higher form of life.
Why hatred? Because the collectivist feels threatened by the individualist�s flair of life; by his achievement of his own identity � by his very existence. Simply by being himself an individualist will strike fear into a multitude of collectivists.
Look at the collectivist empire par-excellence, the Soviet Union, the mightiest military power on earth, feeling threatened by a Solzenitzen. Their only recourse are numbers and brute force which they use to smother the individualist. For the collectivist�s burning desire is to drag the individualist down to his own level. To harness him, to control him, to make him submit; to crucify him; to main him by depriving him of that spark which makes him different. And as for those very few who hold out, who will never submit to the mutilation of their soul, there is the collectivist�s final solution; extermination.Eternal Struggle
Man�s mythology is replete with examples. A collectivist god smote Icarus for daring to fly; tormented Prometheus for enlightening man; cast out Adam and Eve for daring to discover good and evil for themselves.
Then follows the tragedy of recorded history. The judicial murder of Socrates by the collective; the crucifixion of Christ. The silencing of Copernicus and the forced recantation of Galileo. The list is endless.
Time after time in the history of mankind collectivism has triumphed. Barring a few imperfect exceptions like Periclean Greece, the renaissance and the all too brief flowering of modern capitalism, the story of man has been a long night of collectivist darkness. Why is this?
Why does the collectivist so often triumph when the individualist is so patiently superior? The superficial answer is sheer weight of numbers. At any given time there are infinitely more collectivists then individualists. But this is not the answer. It is merely the prelude to asking the real questions; Why are there so many more collectivists than individualists?
Why does a man become a collectivist rather than an individualist, when individualism is so much in harmony with man�s nature? Why this seeming contradiction? The truth is that collectivism too is part of our nature. The other side of the coin, collectivism is within us all � it is part of us. It is a lower form of life that harks back to our primeval past. In a sense we are all collectivists. Well might we say; �We have seen the enemy - he is us!�
There is no escape. To be or not to be. There is no question. The battle against collectivism must be fought and won by each and every Man within his own soul, at every moment of his life. To win it means a constant self-overcoming, a constant striving for that higher form of life � Individualism. To lose it, is to sink into the morass of collectivism, And it is so much easier to sink then to rise. That is why there are a thousand collectivists for every individualist.
The struggle is unending. It is a Zoroastrian battle between Light and Darkness, between Good and Evil. The struggle is continuous and at all levels. It is a personal as well as a universal struggle. It underlies all other conflicts. It is a life or death struggle; the battle of the Individualist against the collective.
Published in The Times of Malta
24 & 25. 2. 82
2012: Anno Zero!