Brian Shaw

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Brian Shaw argues with a non-existent court in Shaw v Attorney-General for the State of Victoria [2011] VSCA 63 (All credits to Justice Maxwell for the theme): 1

“If the Constitution Act 1975 (Vic) is invalid, it follows that this is not a validly–constituted court and, if it is not a valid court, then there is no point in Mr Shaw’s being here. That is a fundamental obstacle. The very arguments which Mr Shaw wants to present are arguments which show that the court does not exist, has no valid powers and is comprised of judges who were not validly appointed.

He also said in the course of his submissions something along these lines: “If you’re pooling writs and trading birth certificates, you’re not the Supreme Court, you’re a branch of the stock exchange.” This statement highlights the inescapable internal contradiction in Mr Shaw’s spending time arguing his case before a non-existent court.

The difficulty (and it is insoluble) is that Mr Shaw and those in court supporting him are very firmly – passionately – of the view that his arguments do have legal merit and, moreover, that this Court should entertain them. That is a problem to which the Supreme Court can provide no solution, as none of the arguments proposed by Mr Shaw has any legal merit at all, and this Court has no jurisdiction to consider the kinds of matters that Mr Shaw wants to ventilate.

This is just the latest in a series of rulings by different judges expressing essentially the same view, that the arguments advanced by Mr Shaw are legally unintelligible. His propositions do not engage any of the principles of law which this Court is bound to apply.”

Click to access shaw-v-attorney-general-for-the-state-of-victoria-2011-vsca-63.pdf


Declared a Vexatious Litigant

After initiating dozens of frivolous proceedings habitually and persistently for over a decade, Brian Shaw was declared a Vexatious Litigant by Hansen J. in Attorney-General for the State of Victoria v Shaw [2007] VSC 148. 2 Included in this case is a full list of all the cases Brian Shaw has initiated over that time.

Table A lists 35 separate criminal charges brought by the defendant in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria between September 2002 and August 2006, against 20 persons including the Governor-General, Justices of the High Court, Judges and Masters of the Supreme Court of Victoria, the Director of Public Prosecutions for the State of Victoria, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Attorney-General for the State of Victoria.  The charges included taking and administering unlawful oaths, attempting to pervert the course of justice, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, treason, and a range of other offences under Victorian and Commonwealth law.  Each proceeding was ultimately struck out by the Magistrates’ Court on the basis that the relevant Director of Public Prosecutions, who had taken over the prosecution, withdrew the charge.  Table A then lists 19 other applications and appeals brought by the defendant in the Magistrates’ Court, County Court, Supreme Court/Court of Appeal between 1996 and about August 2005, all of which were dismissed or struck out.

Table B lists 35 persons against whom the defendant instituted criminal charges in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria in November and December 2006.  Those persons included the Governor-General, State and Federal politicians (including the Prime Minister, the former Leader of the Federal Opposition, and various State Attorneys-General), judicial officers (including Justices of the High Court and Victorian judicial officers) and State and Commonwealth Directors of Public Prosecutions.  The charges include treason and misprision of treason at common law, and offences under the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) and Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). Each charge was ultimately struck out by the Magistrates’ Court on the basis that the Commonwealth Director, who had taken over the prosecution, withdrew the charges. Table B also lists an appeal instituted by the defendant in January 2007 in which he sought to challenge a decision of the Magistrates’ Court to strike out the criminal charges brought by the defendant against the Commonwealth Director. A supplementary affidavit of the plaintiff’s solicitor states that, on 13 February 2007, Master Daly dismissed the appeal.


“Relevantly, s 354 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) gives the Full Court a discretion to order that a grand jury be summoned “Upon the application of any person supported by an affidavit disclosing an indictable offence and either that the same has been committed by some body corporate or that a court has declined or refused to commit or hold to bail the alleged offender or that no presentment was made against him at the court at which the trial would in due course have taken place, or upon the application of the Director of Public Prosecutions”.

The defendant has relied on this provision to seek to summon a grand jury on numerous occasions and against numerous individuals. However, as the Court of Appeal found in 2001, the defendant’s material failed to show that Freemasons administer or take oaths proscribed by s 316 of the Crimes Act. Further, their Honours considered that there was no reason for supposing that the papers ever would or ever could be put in a state which would warrant the summoning of a grand jury. In my view, although the form of some of the allegations may have changed since 2001, the substance of the allegations remains the same. And while the defendant has repeatedly asserted that a whole range of indictable offences have been committed by all manner of people, he has not adduced any cogent evidence to substantiate such claims.

In short, he has not provided an affidavit disclosing any indictable offence, which means that he has repeatedly failed to satisfy s 354 at the threshold. In my view, the allegations he wishes to place before a grand jury are untenable. Even so, and after being told of that position by the Court of Appeal in 2001, the defendant has habitually and persistently sought to file grand jury applications.”

Click to access attorney-general-for-the-state-of-victoria-v-shaw-2007-vsc-148.pdf


The ‘grand jury’ and ‘removal of the Queen’ points

In Attorney-General for the State of Victoria v Shaw (No. 2) [2010] VSC 73 3 Beach J considered an application for leave to file a proceeding by Brian Shaw. The proposed relief included leave to commence proceedings against the Premier of Victoria, the Electoral Commissioner of Victoria, the Victorian Electoral Commission and seven candidates for the State seat of Altona; a declaration that the Altona by-election was void on the grounds of ‘Fraud, Treason and Misprision of Treason’; and transfer into ‘the criminal Jurisdiction of the Full Court of Victoria for grand jury process’.

Beach J noted that Mr Shaw sought to allege that by enacting the Courts and Tribunals Legislation (Further Amendment) Act 2000, the Parliament of Victoria has committed an act of treason and this act of treason had been ‘compounded thereafter by every judicial officer and court within the State of Victoria’. Beach J refused the application on the basis that ‘a proceeding of the kind foreshadowed in which serious allegations are made without any evidentiary foundation would be an abuse of process’. With respect to the proposed grand jury, his Honour noted that, on 1 January 2010, the common law procedure of calling a Grand Jury was abolished by s 253 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009, which provided for the abolition in terms, and s 422(2)(a), which repealed the former s 254 of the Crimes Act 1958. Mr Shaw contended that s 354 of the Crimes Act 1958 remained in force because the repealing Acts were invalid, citing Byrne v Armstrong (1899) 25 VLR 126, which Beach J noted was overruled in Re Shaw [2001] VSCA 175; 4 VR 103. Of Mr Shaw’s arguments, Beach J said:

At the foundation of Mr Shaw’s proposed claim is the proposition that any legislative provision of the State of Victoria or decision of this Court which cuts across the argument he wishes to run is invalid because of some fraud and/or treason and/or misprision of treason. Arguments based upon such a foundation are foredoomed to fail. This, of itself, is a sufficient ground for dismissing Mr Shaw’s application.

Click to access attorney-general-for-the-state-of-victoria-v-shaw-no.-2-2010-vsc-73.pdf


Re Shaw [2001] VSCA 175; 4 VR 103. 4

Click to access re-shaw-2001-vsca-175-4-vr-103.pdf


In Attorney-General for the State of Victoria v Shaw [2012] VSC 334 5 J Forrest J considered an application by Mr Shaw to set aside the order of Hansen J made on 17 May 2007. His Honour noted that the order of Hansen J was based on Shaw’s conduct in issuing proceedings alleging treason against numerous public officials based on assertions that the Victorian Constitution Act 1975 (Vic) was invalid and the Acts Amendment and Repeal (Courts and Legal Practice) Act 2003 (WA) was an illegal conspiracy.  In support of his application for the order to be lifted, Mr Shaw raised arguments, which J Forrest J noted were similar to those raised before Hansen J. J Forrest J dismissed the application noting that ‘but for the fact that 5 years had elapsed since the order of Hansen J, I would have dismissed it as an abuse of process’.

Click to access attorney-general-for-the-state-of-victoria-v-shaw-2012-vsc-334.pdf


In Attorney-General for the State of Victoria v Shaw (No 5) [2013] VSC 106 6 Beach J considered an application by Mr Shaw for leave to file criminal charges against the then Chief Justice, including on the basis the Chief Justice committed treason by sitting in federal jurisdiction with the knowledge that the oath of allegiance had been removed. Beach J noted that Mr Shaw again based his claim on the allegation that in enacting the Courts and Tribunals Legislation (Further Amendment) Act 2000, the Parliament of Victoria had committed a treason.  Beach J dismissed the application as an abuse of process on the following five bases:

First, the proceeding would be premised upon a number of propositions which have been already rejected by a number of different courts. Secondly, there is no basis in law or in fact for the laying of the charges Mr Shaw seeks to lay. Thirdly, Mr Shaw’s application demonstrates that if he was given leave to commence the proceedings he proposes, such proceeding would be mired in an array of irrelevant, misconceived and baseless allegations. Fourthly, as Mr Shaw’s applications to date demonstrate, if Mr Shaw was given leave to commence the proceeding he wishes to commence, he would conduct it in open disregard of any binding authority with which he does not agree (generally asserting that the court responsible for that authority has itself committed treason or fraud). Fifthly, any proceeding issued would have no prospects of success.

Click to access attorney-general-for-the-state-of-victoria-v-shaw-no-5-2013-vsc-106-.pdf


In The ANZ Executors and Trustee Co Ltd v Shaw [2015] VSC 288 7 Rush J considered an application by Mr Shaw to continue proceedings in three matters where costs orders were made against him. The plaintiff company was the trustee of the estate of Mr Shaw’s deceased father and Shaw’s allegations against the trustee included that the real corporate entity was not the plaintiff but rather ‘Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Co Inc of Boston, USA’; that birth certificates are being converted into bonds and treated as securities held by Fidelity Investments; that the solicitors for the plaintiff and numerous judges and officers of the Supreme Court were guilty of treason by reason of the removal of the oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II from the Legal Profession Act. Rush J dismissed the application on the basis that the ‘various extraordinary allegations’ were ‘sufficient to demonstrate the applications are based on hopeless, untenable, indeed bizarre, materials’.

Click to access the-anz-executors-and-trustee-co-ltd-v-shaw-2015-vsc-288.pdf

In Donohue v Victorian Electoral Commission [2015] VSC 98 8 Garde J considered an application by GJ Donohue to restrain the State general election.  The statement of issues relied upon included:

  • The removal of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her heirs and successors and subjects from statute law within the State of Western Australia
  • The creation of invalid Acts and activation and use of such invalid Acts creating criminal offences
  • The involvement of respective State Governors in the concealment of the criminal removal of Her Majesty and substitution of the Governor of Western Australia beginning 1 January 2004, Governor John Sanderson (WA), Governor Ken Michael (WA), Governor Malcolm McCusker (WA), Governor Kerry Sanderson (WA)
  • The illegal and criminal removal of Her Majesty creates the twin criminal offences of treason defined in law as breach of Allegiance and misprision of treason. Such offences are both common law and statue law in both State and Commonwealth Codes in addition to common law.
  • The criminal converting and trading of Australian Birth Certificates on world stock exchanges without the knowledge nor consent of each Australian named on such Birth Certificate criminally converted to trading bonds
  • The receiving entity (the trustee) is Fidelity Investments (USA); such entity also trades all court room transactions inclusive of all lawyers trust accounts, involving every lawyer, magistrate and judge in the criminal offence of trading Australians on world stock exchanges via Fidelity Investments using CUSIP or QCINS references.
  • It is also to be noted that Mr Mark Pedley sits in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal as the Judicial Review Officer to handle and/or suppress all grand jury lodgements and/or grand jury documents. In the year 2004 Mr Pedley was the Deputy Director of the Commonwealth Public Prosecution Office subject to Damian Bugg, the Director.
  • The criminal offence set out at Section 34 Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) in relation to judges and magistrates exercising federal jurisdiction with a personal interest.
  • The judicial corruption involving the concealment of all Grand Jury Applications lodged at the Victorian Supreme Court Criminal Jurisdiction prior to any purported abolition of such grand jury statute right, inclusive of the ten Grand Jury Applications lodged in March 2008 relating to Justice Nettle and the involvement of Mr Mark Pedley in the concealment of such, meaning the collusion between the Office of Public Prosecutions (Cth) and the Victorian Supreme Court in particular the Full Court or Court of Appeal.

Garde J dismissed the application on the basis that the allegations in the petition, including those set out above, were an abuse of process, irrelevant and in some cases scandalous.


The applicant was found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice, in DPP v Sacco (Unreported, County Court of Victoria, Judge Murphy, 10 August 2018) and appealed the conviction on the ground that a ‘substantial miscarriage of justice’ had occurred in Sacco v The Queen [2018] VSCA 353. 9 In her submissions was an eight page document headed ‘Treason and Misprison of Treason’, signed by Brian Shaw. The argument — which was plainly untenable — included the following elements.

First, in 1855 the Imperial Parliament passed The Constitution Act, which established the Colony of Victoria as a self-governing colony with responsible government. Secondly, the Constitution Act 1975 (Vic) was ineffective to ‘repeal’ the Act of 1855. Thirdly, the Australia Act 1986 (Cth) and Australia Act 1986 (UK) — which removed, first, any possibility for the United Kingdom to enact legislation with effect in Australia; secondly, for the United Kingdom to be involved in Australian government; and thirdly, for an appeal from any Australian court to be heard by a court of the United Kingdom — were enacted in breach of s 128 of the Commonwealth Constitution, and were therefore void. Fourthly, the removal of the necessity in s 6(1) of the (since repealed) Legal Practice Act 1996 for a legal practitioner to take an oath of allegiance (effected by s 3 of the Courts and Tribunals Legislation (Further Amendment) Act 2000), was unlawful.  Fifthly, as a result, ‘any legal practitioner purporting to derive their authority from such Act therefore has no valid standing in any court’.  Sixthly, the removal of references to the Crown and Queen from Victorian law (including the Public Prosecutions Act 1994) means that no valid indictment exists, so that the trial ‘cannot proceed’.  Seventhly, the abrogation of the oath of allegiance means that the Office of Public Prosecutions ‘and its representatives are therefore devoid of proper legal standing’, so that any proceedings brought by them ‘are therefore null and void ab anitio [sic]‘.


In Members Equity Bank Pty Ltd v Elefterescu [2018] VSC 223 10 the second defendant in contended that Associate Justice Lansdowne refused the challenge to her standing, which raised the need to issue notices under s 78B of the Judiciary Act 1902 (Cth) on the basis of the effect of ‘the removal of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – the Crown’ in two pieces of legislation being the Courts and Tribunal Further Amendment Act 2000 (Vic) and the Acts Amendment and Repeal of Courts Legal Practices Act 2004 (WA).  Further, her Honour failed to address issues of (i)bias; (ii)apprehension of bias; (iii)indictable offences under s 34 of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth), treason, misprision of treason and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The second defendant further contended that 28 Grand Jury applications were lodged at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court and exhibited 24 pages purporting to be a ‘Criminal Charge for Common Law Grand Jury’ with Brian Shaw as the purported informant and witnessed by 24 individuals. The purported crimes being the subject of the ‘Criminal Charge’ are treason and misprision of treason. The affidavit also exhibited materials alleging a Masonic conspiracy to undermine the Australian Constitution, in which ‘all Judges, Magistrates, Registrars, Lawyers, Barristers have implicated themselves’.


Shaw v Attorney General for the State of Western Australia & Anor [2005] WASC 149 11

Click to access shaw-v-attorney-general-for-the-state-of-western-australia-anor-2005-wasc-149.pdf

Shaw v Jim McGinty in his capacity as Attorney General & Anor [2006] WASCA 231 12

Click to access shaw-v-jim-mcginty-in-his-capacity-as-attorney-general-anor-2006-wasca-231.pdf


Shaw v Bennett [2004] WASC 70 13

Click to access shaw-v-bennett-2004-wasc-70-.pdf


Shaw v G Fragapane Nominees Pty Ltd [2007] VSC 454 14

Click to access shaw-v-g-fragapane-nominees-pty-ltd-2007-vsc-454.pdf


Shaw v ANZ Executors and Trustee Company Limited [2013] VSC 100 15

Click to access shaw-v-anz-executors-and-trustee-company-limited-2013-vsc-100.pdf


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Brian Shaw’s latest attempts at his same old contention, despite having no approval to initiate proceedings, 4th of September 2020

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