Peter Gargan

Vexatious litigant Peter Alexander Gargan is still very active in the OPCA community, advising Rod Culleton in his matters before the courts, as well as recently travelling to the UK on his behalf attempting to bring a case before the Privy Council.

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Seeing the team off to the UK. Perth Airport, 10 January 2019 (from left) Peter Alexander Gargan, Deno Budimir, Rodney Culleton and Darryl O’bryan

In Official Trustee in Bankruptcy v Gargan (No 2) [2009] FCA 398  Mr Con Karantonis gave evidence on the Official Trustee’s application. He was a solicitor in the employ of the Australian Government Solicitor and one of the solicitors responsible for the day to day conduct of the application by the Official Trustee against Mr Gargan. Mr Karantonis carried out searches of various litigation databases to identify cases in which Mr Gargan was, or had been, a party and which were relevant to the question of whether Mr Gargan had commenced vexatious proceedings.  He identified 20 cases which answered that description. As will become apparent, the cases identified by Mr Karantonis are by no means the complete set of all of Mr Gargan’s suits.  However, they are sufficient to establish the central themes of the litigation commenced by him.

Click to access official-trustee-in-bankruptcy-v-gargan-no-2-2009-fca-398.pdf

In Gargan v Director of Public Prosecutions and anor [2004] NSWSC 10, the applicant raised a number of arguments in relation to the asserted invalidity of s 54(b) of the Jury Act 1977, including an invocation of scripture, and the terms of the Coronation Oath as set out in the Coronation Oath Act 1689. 

(i) the appeal to scripture, that is to a moral principle higher than parliamentary sovereignty, is “out of line with the mainstream of current constitutional theory as applied in our courts” ( BLF v Minister for Industrial Relations (1986) 7 NSWLR 372 at 384 per Kirby P). The same principle was applied by Lord Reid in British Railway Board v Pickin (1974) AC 765 in which he said: “In earlier times many learned lawyers seem to have believed that an Act of Parliament could be disregarded insofar as it was contrary to the law of God or the law of nature or natural justice, but since the supremacy of parliament was finally demonstrated by the Revolution of 1688 any such idea has become obsolete” (at 782) To a like effect is the decision of the Privy Council in Liyanage v The Queen (1967) AC 259 in which it was held that an Act of the Parliament of Ceylon could not be challenged on the basis that it was contrary to the fundamental principles of justice. This argument fails.

(ii) The appeal to the Coronation Oath, 1689 as a basis for invalidating the legislation is based on the assertion that at her coronation the Queen took such oath and swore to uphold the gospels. This oath of 1689 is then sought to be linked by the plaintiff to s 116 of the Commonwealth Constitution. Any linkage is obscure to say the least, since that section prohibits the making of any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion and it proscribes any religious test as a qualification for any office under the Commonwealth. …Whilst this oath binds Her Majesty, it does not affect the law of New South Wales. Furthermore the oath involves Her Majesty undertaking the moral obligation to govern the people of Australia according to the laws and customs, not of England or the United Kingdom, but according to those of Australia. This argument also fails.”

Click to access gargan-v-director-of-public-prosecutions-and-anor-2004-nswsc-10.pdf

To be edited…


Commonwealth Bank of Australia v Gargan [2004] FCA 707

Click to access commonwealth-bank-of-australia-v-gargan-2004-fca-707.pdf

Gargan v Commonwealth Bank of Australia [2004] FCA 641

Click to access gargan-v-commonwealth-bank-of-australia-2004-fca-641.pdf

Gargan v Woodgate [2004] NSWSC 177

Click to access gargan-v-woodgate-2004-nswsc-177.pdf

In Gargan v Magistrate Dillon & Anor [2005] NSWSC 1106, Gargan asserted a voluminous amount of written submissions, including that since he is a practising Christian, under Section 116 of the Constitution he is entitled to freely exercise his beliefs, and refuse to accept the usurpation by the State of New South Wales represented by the magistrate of the power of God Almighty, vested in Her Majesty Elizabeth II by the Constitution and Coronation Oath taken by the Queen, at Westminster Abbey in 1952. Further, that Her Majesty Elizabeth II is obliged not to judge, by Matthew 7 verse 1, to observe the separation of powers by Matthew 18 Verse 20, and to allow Her subjects to put themselves upon Jesus Christ as judge, by John 5 verses 22 and 23, where a Christian insults His God, if he fails to request and insist upon a jury trial. The court cited (at 25) his previous case Gargan v DPP [2004] NSWSC 10, that “…since the supremacy of Parliament was finally demonstrated by the revolution of 1688, any appeal to scripture as establishing a moral principle higher than Parliamentary sovereignty has become obsolete.”

Click to access gargan-v-magistrate-dillon-anor-2005-nswsc-1106.pdf

Peter Alexander Gargan v The Commonwealth of Australia and Ors [2007] NSWDC 14

Click to access peter-alexander-gargan-v-the-commonwealth-of-australia-and-ors-2007-nswdc-14.pdf

Gargan v Kippin Investments Pty Ltd [2008] FCA 1718

Click to access gargan-v-kippin-investments-pty-ltd-2008-fca-1718.pdf

Official Trustee in Bankruptcy v Gargan [2009] FCA 352

Click to access official-trustee-in-bankruptcy-v-gargan-2009-fca-352.pdf

Re Gargan and Federal Court of Australia [2009] AATA 135

Attorney General in and for the State of NSW v Gargan [2010] NSWSC 1192

Click to access attorney-general-in-and-for-the-state-of-nsw-v-gargan-2010-nswsc-1192.pdf

Gargan, in the matter of Gargan [2018] FCA 871

Click to access gargan-in-the-matter-of-gargan-2018-fca-871.pdf

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