QUEEN ACCUSED OF USING WRONG SEAL FOR GOVERNOR-GENERAL (2004) LONDON
“The Queen is using the wrong stamp to approve the appointment of Australian governors-general, a crusading team of Australian citizens has established in a lengthy legal battle that has taken them all the way to the High Court in London.
But the ambitious legal campaign, led by Australian barrister David Fitzgibbon, had less luck in establishing that the majority of Australian laws were invalid as a result.
Mr Fitzgibbon, backed by a coalition of Australian tax activists and constitutional hobbyists, has sued the British Government on the grounds that it had sanctioned an abuse of the Queen’s powers.
He argues that the 1973 Royal Titles Act, enabling the Queen to call herself Queen of Australia, was improperly executed, spawning a vast tract of unfortunate consequences including the invalidity of vice-regally-approved legislation (not to mention the entire tax system).
An as-yet unpublished High Court judgement from the Chancery Division’s Master Bencher Bowman, handed down in late June, acknowledges that there may be procedural faults in the vice-regal appointments process.
Master Bowman agreed that the Letters Patent appointing the Governor-General, which for Major-General Michael Jeffery and several of his predecessors were clearly stamped with the Great Seal of Australia, should perhaps have been stamped with the Great Seal of Britain instead.
But the success of Mr Fitzgibbon ended at this particular concession.
“Essentially it is a matter of procedure and not necessarily of substance – that the wrong seal was used,” Master Bowman found in the judgement, obtained by The Age.
Barristers representing the British Attorney-General argued exasperatedly, when the matter was heard in March, that the entire case should be thrown out.
“The Attorney submits that the allegations regarding the validity of Her Majesty’s title as Queen of Australia are unintelligible and/or wholly unconnected with the substance of the claim that follows; as such, they are embarrassing and should be struck out.”
Mr Fitzgibbon and supporters have appealed against this finding and will battle on.
Victorian tax activist Ian Henke said the action was intended to demonstrate the weaknesses in the way the Australian constitution was enacted and used by successive Australian governments.
“The reason we’ve chosen to do this is that over about the last seven or eight years we’ve observed governments and government departments breaking the law as a standard part of their normal procedures, and then simply putting the onus on ordinary citizens to go to the courts at vast expense to force governments to do the right thing,” he said.”
“The case was dismissed by High Court judge Justice Gavin Lightman, who noted that not only did he have no say over the case, but even if he did rule in favour of Mr Fitzgibbon the Australian Government, independent since 1901, could ignore him completely.
“It is for the Australian courts to apply Australian law to determine the capacity in which Her Majesty the Queen is acting, the appropriate seal and the consequences, if any, if the wrong seal is used,” he ruled.
“It is not for the UK courts to enter the field, proffering their view as the to the proper interpretation of the Constitution” the judge added, calling Mr Fitzgibbon’s action “quite purposeless”.
Courtesy of the Freeman Delusion FB Pages