Blowin’ in the wind

DOWNLOAD THE PAPER HERE:  Blowin'-in-the-wind-03092019 (316 downloads)


imageNews broadcasts featuring transport disasters or horrific road crashes never fail to capture public attention or imagination and until the emergence of antisocial media platforms many events often remained newsworthy for several weeks or even months. Following an initial flurry of instant gratification the voice of the powerful quenches anxiety and typically attenuates the risk. The plight of bereaved dependents and survivors soon becomes second hand news or yesterday evening’s sound bite. Moreover, in an era of casino capitalism with the merger of state and corporate interests, the deceased are merely categorised as roadkill or just the cost of doing business.

This paper reviews the Air France Flight 447 Airbus A330 and recent Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft disasters. It discusses the paradox of automation and the carousel of culpability with the impugning of dead pilots despite serious failures in flight control software systems. Several other tragic events in Australia are revisited, which include the Granville train disaster, the Grafton and Kempsey bus crashes and numerous critical incidents aboard Royal Australian Navy vessels. The concept of creative destruction is introduced and investigates Kondratiev waves and the emergence of artificial intelligence or robotics, which enables many ruthless corporate brigands to reduce overheads and increase profits using autonomous modes of transport.

This creates many formidable and foreboding challenges, especially regarding duty of care, negligence and compensation following the inevitable disasters. Many aggrieved families already endure an anachronistic and often sanitised coronial inquest that is merely an adversarial wolf in inquisitorial sheep’s clothing. It frequently leaves the bereaved and survivors facing an obstinate torment of injustice, a fallacy of closure and many unanswered questions, which include how can an organisation or corporation remain ethical if its only responsibility is to make a profit?

DOWNLOAD THE PAPER HERE:  Blowin'-in-the-wind-03092019 (316 downloads)

Bernard Corden

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2 Replies to “Blowin’ in the wind”

  1. The judge has previously set out five questions for the jury to answer when considering their verdict.

    Just to recap, they are:

    1) Are you sure that the defendant David Duckenfield owed a duty of care to the spectators attending the match?

    The defence has conceded that he did.

    2) Are you sure the defendant was in breach of his duty of care?

    The prosecution allege Duckenfield failed to take reasonable care to:

    a. to identify particular potential confining points and hazards to the safe entry of approximately 24,000 spectators arriving from the Leppings Lane area of Hillsborough into the designated sections of the stadium;
    b. to sufficiently monitor and assess the number and situation of spectators yet to enter within the stadium from the Leppings Lane area of Hillsborough;
    c. in good time, to take action to relieve crowding pressures on and from spectators seeking entry to the stadium from the Leppings Lane area of Hillsborough;
    d. to sufficiently monitor and assess the number and situation of spectators in pens three and four;
    e. in good time, to prevent crushing to persons in pens three and four by the flow of spectators through the central tunnel.
    All jurors have to be united in the belief he committed at least one of these to proceed.

    3) Are you sure that it was reasonably foreseeable that the defendant’s breach – or breaches – of duty would cause a serious and obvious risk of death to spectators by crushing?

    4) Are you sure that his breach – or breaches – of that duty of care caused, or at least substantially contributed, to the deaths of the 95 persons named on the indictment?

    5) Are you sure that his breach – or breaches – of duty amounted to gross negligence?
    The jury was told by Sir Peter: “For negligence to be found to be ‘gross’, it must be, having regard to the foreseeable risk of death, so truly and exceptionally bad, so blameworthy, so reprehensible, and so deserving of punishment that it deserves to be marked by conviction of the serious crime of manslaughter.”

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