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  • Rod Culleton and the associates who claim 50 years of Australian laws are invalid
  • By Joshua Robertson
  • 24/11/2016 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: Sol ( 6 articles in 2016 )
A letter by One Nation senator Rod Culleton to a Queensland magistrate has been referred to police.
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Inside story: A letter written by the One Nation senator to a Queensland magistrate is linked to unorthodox legal advocates who argue that the constitution requires the governor general to be paid in pounds instead of dollars

Rodney Culleton’s alleged attempt to influence a Queensland magistrate involved a case against a bankrupt former legal advocate whose supporters include an adviser to the One Nation senator.

Culleton has been referred to police over a letter asking the magistrate to adjourn the case against David John Walter from Herberton in northern Queensland, who is charged with failing to provide information about his financial affairs during bankruptcy.

The letter – which also refers to Culleton having “foreshadowed” a Senate motion “to recall a number of judges for ‘proven misbehaviour” – could amount to threatening a judicial officer and trying to pervert the course of justice, according to Queensland’s chief magistrate.

The case against Walter, a retired police officer, follows a long-running saga related to his work as an unorthodox, unqualified legal advocate challenging legislation in Queensland courts on behalf of others.

The commonwealth charge against Walter was first heard by the Cairns magistrate last month after he was bankrupted over a legal costs order arising from his advice to people in disputes with three local councils that they should not pay rates.

Walter’s supporters include Peter Gargan, who has been advising Culleton before a looming Senate referral for a high court examination of the senator’s eligibility for election.

Walter was barred from legally representing others in Queensland in 2011 after acting in at least 10 cases where a judge said he ran the same “peculiar” but futile line of legal argument challenging state and local authorities over legislation including tree-clearing controls.

He argued unsuccessfully during bankruptcy proceedings that legislation passed in Australia since 1966 is unconstitutional because it has been signed by governor generals who were paid in dollars, not pounds as specified by the constitution.

Gargan argued the same point to press the former officer’s case in a letter to the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, in April.

He urged Turnbull to call a “referendum to normalise the currency” as “no legislation since 1966 has been legitimately approved by any governor general because none of them have been paid in legitimate currency”.

Gargan also wrote to a lawyer involved in bankruptcy proceedings against Walter to upbraid him for not engaging with issues he was raising, including “currency fraud”.

Gargan earlier this month spoke to Crikey from Culleton’s Perth office, where he reportedly “cheerfully” acknowledged that he had been declared a “vexatious litigant” by courts in four states, including Queensland.

In an email to a lawyer seen by Guardian Australia, Gargan wrote: “While you lawyer rubbish refuse to admit people like me to the Profession of Ali Baba and probably the forty thousand thieves, I have still done the hard yards at university.

“If some of you mongrels were any good, the issues David Walter is raising like sovereign debt and currency fraud, banking welfare, and blatant disregard of the laws of the commonwealth because only you shitbags or one of the forty thousand thieves can prosecute for breaches, would be addressed.”

A proponent of arcane arguments challenging the legitimacy of Australian courts through a literal interpretation of the constitution, Gargan’s engagement by Culleton coincided with the senator raising questions about the authority of the high court.

In his first question in the Senate, Culleton referred to the high court’s supposed failure to issue writs in the name of the Queen. On 7 November, he wrote to the Senate president accusing the high court of procedural failings that made it unlawful and asked that the upper house consider removing “offending judges” from office.

The letter to the Queensland magistrate, dated 15 November and bearing Culleton’s Senate letterhead, said: “We are watching with interest the conduct of all judicial officers Australia wide, after discovering the high court has not been conducting its business in the name of the Queen.

“If so this could reflect on all jurisdictions. As a safeguard against a possible injustice, could I respectfully ask that you adjourn the matter until the constitutional position of all courts is clarified.”

The revelation of letter this week signalled a growing rift between the One Nation senator and party leader Pauline Hanson.

Culleton has since written to the magistrate “to clarify and emphasise that there was no disrespect ... to the court, or to judicial procedure”.

He has said he “totally rejects any suggestion of threats to any officer of any court, or any attempt to pervert the course of justice”.

The initial letter was written “in the interest of justice” on behalf of a distressed individual, Culleton said.

Walter, who is being prosecuted by the commonwealth director of public prosecutions, had his property sold by bankruptcy trustees in June after they sought a warrant for his eviction.

However, it is understood Walter remains at the property with the support of its new owner, a farmer who unsuccessfully challenged the authority of state laws to fight a fine for clearing trees on his Brisbane property.

Walter’s bankruptcy followed a rare legal costs order awarded to councils to compensate their expenses in recovering almost $200,000 in unpaid rates. Walter, who was understood to have paid his own rates, was held liable by the court because he acted as a legal adviser to the dissident ratepayers.

In 2011, Queensland’s legal services commission won an injunction preventing Walter, who was not a qualified Australian legal practitioner, from acting as a legal representative.

The supreme court found he repeatedly ran cases using the same “fundamentally misconceived” legal arguments to challenge legislation.

In one case he acted for a north Queensland landowner who wanted to clear trees on a property known to contain habitat for endangered mahogany gliders and cassowaries.

The supreme court found he was using “other parties effectively as stalking horses to enable him to continually repeat these contentions”.

Walter had for years been “very persistent in presenting those arguments in court” in person, despite knowing “he had repeatedly failed to persuade judges and magistrates that the decision was wrong”, the court found.

Walter is due to appear again on 24 January in the Cairns magistrates court, formally charged with refusing or failing to provide information in compliance with a notice.

Bankrupted in 2014, Walter filed a statement of affairs on 4 July, according to a search of bankruptcy records with the Australian Financial Security Authority.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/nov/24/rod-culleton-and-the-associates-who-claim-50-years-of-australian-laws-are-invalid


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