Folklaw: 18 May 2007

03 March 2012 By Lawyers Weekly

Keeper’s adoption bid to protect chimpA British woman, eager to save a chimpanzee from the jaws of evil pharmaceutical companies is filing for adoption of the primate in an Austrian court.Known…

Keepers adoption bid to protect chimp

A British woman, eager to save a chimpanzee from the jaws of evil pharmaceutical companies is filing for adoption of the primate in an Austrian court.

Known as “Matthew”, the chimp was given Euro €4995 ($8172) by a businessman when the animal house in which he lived in Voesendorf, Vienna, was closed down.


Matthew’s keeper, Paula Stibbe, has filed for adoption of the animal, which she says is the same as any human child. Stibbe is supported by the renowned monkey translator Jane Goodall, who will take the witness stand as an expert.

“Matthew likes watching the TV and videos and playing games like any child, and can use signs and gestures to say what he wants. Of course he has the right to be recognised as an individual,” Stibbe said.

According to animal rights campaigner Dr Martin Balluch, they were able to file the case successfully by omitting the fact that Matthew is not human.

“It was only after we had a case number to work with that we revealed he was a chimpanzee,” Balluch said.

The animal rights advocates are concerned for Matthew’s wellbeing because a pharmaceutical company originally imported the chimp with the aim of subjecting it to research on HIV. When customs seized Matthew and sent him to the shelter, it was only after public protests that the company backed down from asserting a court order that accepted their ownership of the animal.

Lawyers Weekly Discover

Petition to save Big Foot in Canada

Folklaw believes politicians are particularly adept at using their time sensibly. The sort of person who is attracted to politics in the first place just wants to get on with the task at hand. They are doers. They aren’t the kind of people who waste time with needless exercises that are designed purely to guarantee their future career prospects. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Knowing this indisputable fact, it shocked Folklaw to learn of a Canadian MP who is putting his valuable time and effort into ensuring the protection of a rare endangered species, being Big Foot.

According to the Vancouver Province, Canadian MP Mike Lake is requesting from the House of Commons that the nation’s Species Risk Act be used to protect Big Foot, and 500 Canucks from Edmonton, Alberta, agree.

Apparently the man behind the 500-strong petition, Todd Standing, has proof of the sasquatch’s existence, and is concerned for his ongoing safety, the paper said, though no mention was made of a concern for the mental health of Albertans.

Doubts over Sudanese goat-wifes death

Regular Folklaw readers may recall the story of Sudanese man Charles Tombe (Lawyers Weekly, 29 September 2006, p 44) who was forced to marry a goat when villagers discovered him gaining a carnal knowledge of the creature.

It is with some sadness that we now report that the goat, known affectionately as “Rose”, has died after choking on a plastic bag, the BBChas reported.

Tom Rhodes, editor of Sudanese publication, the Juba Post, told the BBC that he was shocked to have found the story had gathered so much momentum.

But what is more shocking is how Rose came to die under what are clearly very suspicious circumstances. It is unclear whether the Juba authorities are treating this as a criminal investigation, but rest assured, Folklaw will be petitioning the Sudanese Government until justice is done.

Even sadder is the news that Rose leaves behind a male kid — which Rhodes has confirmed is not part human, but 100 per cent goat.

Cop car contains hidden heroin

Police in Romania who were given a seized Porsche 911 for “undercover work” say that they “found” 60kg of heroin under the back seat.

The car was originally impounded by border guards when they found Turkish drug runners in 2002 had secreted 60kg of the drug in the front. In a somewhat worrying display of professional laziness, they somehow missed the equally massive quantity of heroin in the car’s rear, news service AFP reported.

According to a police spokesperson, the drugs were only discovered by mechanics who were working on the car for use in undercover operations, no doubt to equip it with the latest in spy equipment and futuristic weaponry.

The story should encourage bargain hunters to attend the next round of police auctions of confiscated property.

Pantless Judge seeks $65 million apology

Reports abound of a Washington administrative law judge who is suing drycleaners for $65 million because they allegedly failed to return his pants quickly enough.

According to the Associated Press news service, Judge Roy Pearson took a few suits to Custom Cleaners in 2005, but one pair of pants was lost. Pearson then asked for $1000 — the cost of an entire new suit — and even though the pants were discovered a week later and offered to him, he filed a suit against Custom Cleaners when they refused to pay up.

So, doing what any normal American who’d been without his trousers for a week would do, Pearson sued the drycleaners for $65 million, with a further $15,000 for having to hire a car to take his dry cleaning somewhere else.

According to AP, the store owners, Jin Nam Chung, Ki Chung and their son, Soo Chung are toying with a move back to their native Seoul, following the last two years worth of legal nightmare.

“They’re out a lot of money, but more importantly, incredibly disenchanted with the system,” their lawyer Chris Manning said. “This has destroyed their lives.”

Manning said Custom Cleaners made three settlement offers to Pearson: $3000, then $4600, then $12,000, APreported.

The fall of Latin

Folklaw was amused by a blog entry by one David Starkoff, who reported on Justice Finkelstein’s comments about the demise of Latin in Australian Pipeline Ltd v Alinta Ltd 2007.

The Justice stated: “The demise of taught Latin and the progress of the plain English theorists have meant that many of these instruments, which have served the law since at least the thirteenth century, have suffered the fate of being given new names.”

Starkoff probably quite rightly noted that you can almost hear the Justice mutter: “kids these days”. See Starkoff’s blog at

Folklaw: 18 May 2007
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