These two cases were initially heard together by Bell J in the Supreme Court in Harkness v Roberts; Kyriazis v County Court of Victoria (No 2)  VSC 646, (Kyriazis v County Court of Victoria (No 1)  VSC 636 was an application to audio-record a judicial review proceeding by a self-represented party). In this decision, Bell J concluded:
“Mr Harkness has established that he was entitled to make oral submissions by way of objections to jurisdiction in relation to the road safety charges that were brought against him. The magistrate sitting in the Magistrates’ Court at Seymour summarily rejected those objections without giving him the opportunity to make those submissions or providing due assistance to him as a litigant in person. In doing so, her Honour breached the rules of natural justice and his human right to a fair hearing under the Charter, which were errors of law. She committed no error of law in having him removed from the courtroom and hearing and determining the charges in his absence as this was done by reason of his unacceptable behaviour. Mr Harkness’s appeal will be upheld, the orders of the magistrate will be quashed and the charges will be remitted to the Magistrates’ Court for hearing and determination according to law by a different magistrate.
Mr Kyriazis has established that the judge sitting in the County Court of Melbourne breached the rules of natural justice in relation to the hearing and determination of the road safety charges that were brought against him. The judge gave him very limited assistance as a litigant in person. Further, the conduct of the proceeding was highly conflictual to an unusual degree. Aggression rising above anger and frustration passed between Mr Kyriazis and the judge at various times during the hearing. On one occasion, the judge personally publically denigrated him, admitted that this was intended and did not withdraw the remark. In the circumstances, a fair-minded observer would reasonably conclude that his Honour might not have impartially heard and the determined the charges. The judge therefore exceeded the court’s jurisdiction. The application for judicial review will be upheld, the orders of the judge will be quashed and the charges will be remitted to the County Court for hearing and determination according to law by a different judge.”
This decision was referred to the Court of Appeal, where Maxwell P, Beach and Niall JJA delivered the following two judgements on the same day, Roberts v Harkness  VSCA 215 and Doughty-Cowell v Kyriazis  VSCA 216.
In Harkness’ case, he had challenged the jurisdiction of the court, over “a matter of a soul in a body living its fundamental and common law right to travel by the Blessing of Almighty God“. The magistrate excluded Harkness from the courtroom on account of his persistent misbehaviour, summarily rejecting his objections without giving him the opportunity to make those submissions or providing due assistance to him as a litigant in person. The court upheld Bell J’s decision that in doing so, the magistrate breached the rules of natural justice and his human right to a fair hearing, as the fact that Harkness was evidently operating under the mistaken belief that there was some legal foundation for his assertion did not affect the content of the fair trial obligation. The appeal was upheld, the orders of the magistrate quashed and the charges were remitted to the Magistrates’ Court for rehearing.
However, in Kyriazis case, although there was an order dismissing his proceeding for judicial review, Bell J’s conclusion that Mr Kyriazis had established that Judge Chettle was ostensibly biased was set aside.