Independent Sovereign State of Australia

Cameron v Beattie [2001] QCA 392

“For reasons that will become apparent I shall refer to the appellant by his full name Donald Gordon Cameron.  He brought an action in the Supreme Court for declaratory relief, including a declaration that the latest State election was invalid.  His statement of claim was summarily dismissed by Justice Philippides on 5 April 2001 under Uniform Civil Procedure Rule 293.  The order was that his claim be dismissed and that he pay costs to be assessed.

The relief sought in the action was a recount of votes excluding certain types of ballot papers, a declaration that the election was invalid, a declaration that the members of the Government are disqualified, a declaration that the Queen of Australia is a corporation sole and that the Governor General holds certain powers in the absence from Australia of the person of Her Majesty, and various consequential and related declarations.  The alleged foundation for such relief seems to have been based upon a submission that there is no such person as the Queen of Australia.

I turn to the application brought by the respondents for a declaration that the plaintiff is acting in concert with a declared vexatious litigant, one Donald Cameron, and for the setting aside of the proceedings, both in the trial division and here.

In order to understand the submissions it will be necessary to say something concerning a group of persons apparently involved in the litigation.  The group includes the appellant Donald Gordon Cameron, Donald Cameron (who was formerly Donald James Cameron), and Alan Vincent Smith.  They have chosen to call themselves the Independent Sovereign State of Australia – ISSA.

Donald Gordon Cameron claims to be a high office bearer (Attorney-General/Treasurer in ISSA) and Donald Cameron claims to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Sovereign State of Australia.  On 5 March 1996 one Donald James Cameron was declared to be a vexatious litigant.  He changed his name by deed poll to Donald Cameron pursuant to a deed which was filed on 29 January 1997.  He is one and the same as the Donald Cameron who is an associate of Donald Gordon Cameron to whom I have just referred.

Under section 17 of the Vexatious Litigants’ Act the respondents have the right to seek a declaration setting aside such processes. There is no good reason to withhold relief. The respondents to this application are, in my view, abusing the process of the Court. The submission against making such an order is based on an allegation that the common purpose of Donald Gordon Cameron and Donald Cameron in conducting the litigation is to act in the administration of the affairs of ISSA. Sections 8 sub (1), 8 sub (1)A, 17(1) and 17(2) of the Vexatious Litigants’ Act are said to have been “displaced” by the High Court of Australia pursuant to sections 116 and 117 of the Constitution.

A premise in this argument is the appellant’s assertion that ISSA is “the chosen instrument of God”. From this he proceeds to the premise that it is a religion. From this he apparently proceeds to section 116 of the Constitution which forbids the Commonwealth from making any law prohibiting the free exercise of any religion. There is also a mention, although the logical connection is impossible to see, of an oath of allegiance said to be introduced in 1994 and taken by members of Parliament which is said to discriminate against citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Now, not only are these premises unsubstantiated, they do not connect or lead to any conclusion that would justify the submission that these sections of the Vexatious Litigants Act are invalid.

Mr Donald Gordon Cameron informed the Court that section 78B notices had been given to all Attorneys-General before the trial in this matter and that no appearances resulted on behalf of any Attorney-General. Those assertions were not satisfactorily substantiated but, in my view, such notices are unnecessary because I do not think that any matter properly arises touching the interpretation of any section of the Constitution. So far as section 116 is concerned, even assuming that that section could apply to strike down State legislation, the Vexatious Litigants Act does not prohibit religious observance or do any of the things prohibited by section 116.

No facts are presented that raise any issue under that section or indeed under any matter that arises or involves the interpretation of sections 117 or 119.

The present application for relief under section 17 of the Vexatious Litigants Act was served on Donald Cameron as well as upon the appellant. The applicants indicated their intention to seek costs against both. For the reasons that I have mentioned, I consider that the present applicants are entitled to the relief which they seek.

WILLIAMS JA: The material and argument placed before the Court on behalf of Donald Gordon Cameron is nonsensical, unintelligible, illogical and fantasy. It does not give rise to any matter arising under section 116 or 117 of the Constitution of Australia or indeed any other provision of the Constitution.” 1

Click to access cameron-v-beattie-2001-qca-392.pdf

Cameron v Beattie [2001] QSC 115

“The allegiance which Australians owe to the Queen is owed as subjects of the Queen of Australia: Pochi v Minister for Immigration & Ethnic Affairs (Macphee) (1982) 151 CLR 101 at 109 and Nolan v Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (1988) 165 CLR 178 at 186. By s 83(1)(b) of the Electoral Act 1992 (Qld) only a person who is an Australian citizen may be elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly. An Australian citizen owes allegiance to the Queen of Australia. Section 4 of the Constitution Act 1867 (Qld) merely provides for an Australian citizen elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen of Australia to whom that citizen already owes allegiance.” 2

Click to access cameron-v-peter-d-beattie-in-his-capacity-as-premier-ors-2001-qsc-115.pdf

Gunter v Hollingworth [2002] FCA 943 

(At 17) “The seventh and eighth respondents claim to appear as citizens of the Independent Sovereign State of Australia. The eighth respondent claims to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Independent Sovereign State of Australia and seeks to appear in that capacity. The seventh and eighth respondents support the petition and in addition seek the following additional orders :

“1.          Citizens of God’s State (ISSA) or Principality of Acworth or any other Principality ceded land mass are not Citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia and as citizens exempt from the following :

(a)      Voting in any State or Federal Elections
(b)      Payment of State Registration & insurance fees or charges
(c)       Payment of Local Government rates fees or charges
(d)      Payment of Commonwealth Government taxation
(e) God’s State (ISSA) Citizenship Certificate-Driver License-Passport-Vehicle Registration & Insurance are lawful and binding on all State & Commonwealth Authorities.” 3

Click to access gunter-v-hollingworth-2002-fca-943.pdf

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Purple Harmony Plates Pty Ltd (No 3) [2002] FCA 1487

(At 30-31) “Two of the respondents to the petition claimed to appear as citizens of the Independent Sovereign State of Australia. They apparently contended that they were not citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia and they supported the petition. They also sought orders to the effect that, as citizens of the Principality of Acworth, they were not citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia and were exempt from observing a number of statutory provisions applicable to citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia. Mr Lyster appeared to submit that Cooper J accepted this contention or submission. Cooper J did not do so. In relation to those particular respondents, as well as other respondents in the proceeding, Cooper J was concerned with, inter alia, the situation whether a person who was not entitled to vote at a particular election had the right to appear on a petition challenging such election and to be made a party to it.  The reasons for judgment of Cooper J do not support the proposition for which Mr Lyster contended.

I reject Mr Lyster’s submission that my previous judgments were unconstitutional and null and void and I reject the proposition that I have acted in excess of jurisdiction and that effect is not to be given to my earlier judgments and orders.  I reject Mr Lyster’s contention that he is a Head of State, holds the positions or titles for which he contends and that he is not subject to the jurisdiction of the Court.” 4

Click to access australian-competition-and-consumer-commission-v-purple-harmony-plates-pty-ltd-no-3-2002-fca-1487-196-alr-576.pdf

Peto v Queensland Police Service [2005] QDC 141

“A notice of appeal dated 11th November 2004 was filed. It does not cite the correct sentence but it relies upon three grounds of appeal; that the learned Magistrate’s penalty was manifestly excessive having regard to the substantive evidence presented at hearing, that the licence which was issued in the case by the Independent Sovereign State of Australia (Federal/State) referred to as the ISSA, was bona fide under The Road Use Management Act of 1995 (Queensland) and that the related issue as to whether the law was consistent with the laws of the State.

Dealing with the question of the Independent Sovereign State of Australia (Federal/State) ISSA. The alternative ground relied upon there by the appellant is that he has a licence issued by the ISSA. It is further argued that a proclamation dated 24th December 1995, the ISSA set up a separate State to allow such a licence to be issued.

These matters have been raised in other Courts.  Goldberg J in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v. Purple Harmony Plates Pty Ltd BC 2001 04454 said:

“The Commonwealth Constitution recognises the Commonwealth and the States and Territories as the only entities in the Federal policy known as the Commonwealth of Australia. An area of the land cannot cease to be part of the State and the Commonwealth except pursuant to Section 123 of the Constitution which provides that ‘The Parliament of the Commonwealth may with the consent of the Parliament of the State and the approval of a majority of the electors of the State voting upon the question increase, diminish or otherwise alter the limits of the State upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon and may, with the like consent, make provision respecting the effect and operation of any increase or diminution or alteration of territory in relation to any State affected.’ There are other constitutional means available for the establishment of any separate political community. There are no other constitutional means available for the establishment of any separate political community in Australia.” 5

Click to access peto-v-queensland-police-service-2005-qdc-141.pdf

Manton International Pty Ltd (In Liquidation) v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation [2006] FCAFC 76

(At 5) “On its face, the Notice of Appeal filed by Mr Magyari on 8 November 2005 does not disclose any arguable ground of appeal which would warrant any interference with the order of Gyles J.  The grounds specified in the Notice of Appeal are as follows:

1.           That the Learned Trial Judge fell into error in rejecting Part 1   Article 1 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 in its application to the Federal State ISSA.

2.           That the Learned Trial Judge fell into error in rejecting the exercise of its rights of self-government in its most general application the term right refers to withdrawal by an individual or group from an entity of which it or they had previously been part (Commonwealth of Australia).

3.           Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Taxation Appeals Division, number QT 2005/215 Deputy President Don Muller, 15 September 2005, Brisbane “being satisfied that the Tribunal has no jurisdiction.”

4.           The Learned Trial Judge fell into error in rejecting the public information provided by Lawyer, Simone Brittan (for ASIC): “the claim that the Commonwealth of Australia has jurisdiction has no legal basis and will not be entertained.”

5.           That the Learned Trial Judge fell into error in rejecting the advice of David Bennett, Deputy Solicitor Commonwealth of Australia, 27 October 2005, on behalf of the Commonwealth Attorney General the Honourable Phillip Ruddock MP: “he will not be intervening or applying to remove to the High Court of Australia.”

6.           The Independent Sovereign State of Australia ISSA jurisdictional authority is unchallenged and confirmed but rejected by the Learned Trial Judge.

These grounds are, on their face, lacking in substance.” 6

Click to access manton-international-pty-ltd-in-liquidation-v-deputy-commissioner-of-taxation-2006-fcafc-76.pdf

Permanent Custodians Ltd v Wheeley [2007] QCA 110 

“Mr Wheeley does not seem to dispute that he borrowed money or executed the mortgage as alleged by the respondent.  Doing the best one can to understand the basis of Mr Wheeley’s unwillingness to meet his obligations, it appears to be the case that Mr Wheeley is of the view that the freedom of religion he enjoys, either by reason of his association with the Independent Sovereign State of Australia and its church or by reason of s 116 to s 118 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia 1901 (Cth) is inconsistent with the performance of the obligations he voluntarily assumed, and the promises which he made, when he entered into the mortgage with the respondent.

Not surprisingly perhaps, it does not appear that the terms of the mortgage executed by Mr Wheeley included a provision that Mr Wheeley reserve the liberty not to keep his side of the bargain if he should be stricken by religious scruples against repaying the money he owed.  The provisions of the Constitution to which Mr Wheeley refers do not purport to liberate Mr Wheeley from his obligations as the respondent’s debtor.

Mr Wheeley also seems to argue that the respondent’s rights under its mortgage have been, without its consent, diminished by a subsequent lease over the Moorooka property in favour of the church associated with Mr Cameron.  There is no legal substance in this argument.  No honest man could ever dream that there could be.

It also appears that Mr Wheeley relies upon an alleged payment of the debt by a cheque drawn on a fictional bank.  The alleged payment too is a fiction.

It is simply not possible to discern any legal merit in Mr Wheeley’s arguments. ”

Click to access permanent-custodians-ltd-v-wheeley-2007-qca-110.pdf

Suncorp-Metway Limited v Nagy [2008] NSWSC 20

(From 7) “The contents of the “Defence” throws up comprehension problems. The substance of it looks to and is founded on s 118 of the Commonwealth Constitution. It then appears to proceed on the basis that there exists a Federal State which is called the Independent Sovereign State of Australia (ISSA); and that such an entity is a state within the meaning of s 118 and that there is no jurisdiction to grant the relief sought by the plaintiff. Such matters are in issue between the parties.

Save for the material contained therein which addresses this matter, the “Defence” does not put in issue the allegations made by the plaintiff in the Statement of Claim.

There was a related matter. It concerned a purported tender of a cheque from what was said to be the Federal State Bank of ISSA. The plaintiff joined issue on the validity of such a tender.

This matter was dealt with by Kiefel J in Australian Prudential Regulation Authority v Cameron & Anor [2007] FCA 628. Her Honour made orders restraining the defendants from, inter alia, carrying on any banking business in Australia. Her Honour took the view that there had been breaches of provisions of the Banking Act 1959 (Cth). In her judgment, she observed as follows:

“This is not the first time that such an argument has been raised in Australian courts. Goldberg J, in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Purple Harmony Plates Pty Ltd (2001) FCA 106 at [28], pointed out that the Commonwealth Constitution recognises the Commonwealth and the States and Territories as the only entities in the federal polity known as the Commonwealth. An area of land cannot cease to be part of a State, except pursuant to s 123 of the Constitution. There are no other constitutional means available for the establishment of a separate political community in Australia. The property said to be that of the independent sovereign state here, upon which the bank conducts its business and in respect of which Mr Cameron and Mr Wheeley are said to be citizens, remains part of Australia.”

The defendant has purported to rely also on documentation which presents as being from the “Federal State Supreme Court” (an alleged institution of ISSA). One of the defendants in the case before her Honour (Donald Cameron) is presented in that documentation as being the Chief Justice of that Court. The documentation purports to present Donald Cameron as dealing with an appeal from the decision of her Honour and holding that her order was “unconstitutional, oppressive and corrupt”. I do not regard this documentation as giving any support whatsoever to what is advanced by the defendant.

It was common ground that the real issues between the parties during the hearing was whether or not the defence gave rise to an arguable issue. In my view, it clearly did not do so. I consider that the contention sought to be advanced by the defendant is plainly unarguable (for reasons both of fact and law). In my view, inter alia, it is unarguable to suggest that the alleged ISSA is an entity that falls within the meaning of “state” as it appears in s 118. 8

Click to access suncorp-metway-limited-v-nagy-2008-nswsc-20.pdf

Millmerran Shire Council v Smith & Anor [2008] QPEC 73

(At 2) “Mr Smith’s resistance to the proceedings in the past, and now, has unusual aspects.  He presently styles himself as the ‘senior minister of Sundowner Christian Ministry a church of love and peace inc’ (sic) and maintains, variously, that in company with like-minded persons he has lawfully established, on his land, a new independent polity (and styled himself ‘Chief Executive Officer of God’s State (Federal State) Independent Sovereign State of Australia’); that he has thereby rendered himself immune to the operation of the laws of Australia or Queensland (or the Council); and, in any event, that the State has abandoned control over what is done on this land.” 9

Click to access millmerran-shire-council-v-smith-anor-2008-qpec-73.pdf

Millmerran Shire Council v Smith [2009] QCA 103

(From 4) “The applicant represents himself in these proceedings, as he represented himself in the P & E Court.  It is not easy to understand the arguments he advances.  The learned primary judge helpfully summarised the bases on which the applicant had sought to resist the orders which were made against him on 14 October 2008.  It is convenient to refer to his Honour’s summary in Millmerran Shire Council v Smith & Anor [2008] QPEC 73:

“… First, he contends that because the property upon which the buildings were constructed has freehold title, that title makes it immune from the operation of IPA. The argument was advanced on appeal to the District Court, and rejected. It has also been the subject of unequivocal adverse decisions from the Court of Appeal (Bone v Mothershaw [2003] 2 Qd R 600; Burns v State of Queensland & Croton [2007] QCA 235).

The second is that the land comprises an independent sovereign state, which also attracts immunity. That question was decided against. Mr Smith by this court in the first proceedings in 2003, and the Court of Appeal found it no apparent error in that aspect of the primary decision. It was also raised in the first prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court and, again, decided against the respondent. Finally, it has been comprehensively rejected by the Court of Appeal in other, unrelated proceedings (Cameron v Beattie [2001] QCA 392).

The third argument relies upon s 106 of the Australian Constitution and a claimed immunity from regulatory laws and in particular IPA by virtue of the respondent’s religious beliefs or practices. It, again, was rejected at first instance in this court (without demur from the Court of Appeal on that issue) and by the magistrate in the first prosecution.

During his oral submissions Mr Smith did raise further arguments – that the relief sought by Council involved discrimination on the basis of religion and offended the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 and similar Commonwealth legislation. There is, however, simply no evidence that these proceedings either now, or in the past, have involved conduct referrable to some matter involving religion, or that Council is treating Mr Smith any differently from anybody else by reason of his religious beliefs. Mr Smith also referred to the Bible, and a number of other pieces of legislation (The Queensland Constitution, Sale of Goods Act [1896], C’wealth Trade Practices Act (1974), The Australian Constitution, Local Government Act (1993), Land Act [1994], Property Law Act [1974], Justices Act [1886]; and, The Bill of Rights (1689) and Magna Carta) and judgments. None – intending no disrespect – have any discernable relevance or give rise to a sustainable basis for resisting Council’s application.”

The applicant’s other arguments were referred to by the learned primary judge, and were rightly rejected by his Honour.  The “independent state” argument is legal nonsense.  It was rejected as such by this Court in Cameron v Peter D Beattie (in his capacity as Premier) & Ors.  The “Deed of Grant” argument is also legal nonsense, which was rejected as such in Bone v Mothershaw and Burns v State of Queensland & Croton. There is no occasion for this Court to reconsider these earlier decisions which gave the quietus to these legal fantasies.

As to the argument founded on the notion that the applicant has been discriminated against because of his religious beliefs, there was no evidence before the P & E Court or this Court that the applicant has suffered any such discrimination.  There is no evidence which suggests that it is a tenet of the applicant’s religion that its adherents are not obliged to comply with laws of the land.  Like any other subject, Mr Smith is obliged to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”. In any event, there can be no suggestion that the provisions of the IPA purport to single out the applicant or his religion for adverse treatment.

In summary, the applicant has advanced no argument which is attended with sufficient prospects of success to warrant the grant of leave to appeal.” 10

Click to access millmerran-shire-council-v-smith-anor-2009-qca-103.pdf

Lee and Robert Rumble v Liverpool Plains Shire Council [2012] NSWDC 95

(At 1(c) “Their publicly expressed affiliation with something known as the “Independent Sovereign State of Australia” (abbreviated to “ISSA”). This was evidenced by documents that the plaintiffs had themselves forwarded to the Council (see Exhibit MP3, JB687 to 699, and Exhibit 16, a document entitled “Secession”, which, on its terms, amounted to a political manifesto). By virtue of their membership, both plaintiffs asserted they were exempt from, inter alia, the Local Government Act and Commonwealth taxation legislation.” 11

Click to access lee-and-robert-rumble-v-liverpool-plains-shire-council-ors-2012-nswdc-95.pdf

Liverpool Plains Shire Council v Rumble [2013] NSWLEC 118

(At 9) “Secondly, the respondents contend that they are not subject to the laws of New South Wales, the authority of the council or the jurisdiction of the courts because they have constituted their land as “The Independent Sovereign State of Australia” or “ISSA”. Some of their documents bear seals endorsed with that name. One states: “ISSA is a bona fide State in Australia. Having its borders as the forshores [sic] of Australia. The State has been in force for 23 years. The law basis is sect.116 of the Australian Constitution… We do not recognise other states, corporations, courts or local councils having power of any kind over us”. All this is without legal merit. For reasons to which I adhere, I rejected similar arguments in Armidale Dumaresq Council v Vorhauer [2012] NSWLEC 154- at [25] – [31] and Shoalhaven City Council v Ellis [2012] NSWLEC 225- at [5] – [13], which was followed on the jurisdictional aspect in Liverpool Plains Shire Council v Vella (No 2) [2013] NSWLEC 75- at [20] per Pepper J.” 12

Click to access liverpool-plains-shire-council-v-rumble-2013-nswlec-118.pdf

Rumble v Liverpool Plains Shire Council [2015] NSWCA 125

(At 90) “As Biscoe J said, the applicants did not dispute the Council’s contentions that they used the land in the manner the subject of the complaint. Rather, they delivered documents to the court contesting the Council’s right to restrict what they did on “their land”, which they had constituted as “the Independent Sovereign State of Australia”. 13

Click to access rumble-v-liverpool-plains-shire-council-2015-nswca-125.pdf

Nibbs v Devonport City Council [2015] TASSC 34

(From 16) “I will mention a decision of a judge of the District Court of New South Wales to which Mr Nibbs referred in support of his argument on this point.  The case is Rumble v Liverpool Plains Shire Council [2012] NSWDC 95.

Mr Nibbs was not able to explain the principle identified in that case which I should apply, or identify any part of the judgment which was relevant to the present point.  There is nothing in the case which identifies anything of benefit to Mr Nibbs.  It involved a claim by Mr and Mrs Rumble against a local council and others for damages for trespass.  There had been a dispute between the plaintiffs and the council about what they were able to do in terms of an automotive repair business at a property which was their home.  The application of planning laws was in contention.  Council and police officers went to the property to serve notices.

Part of the background set out by Mahony DCJ was that the Rumbles said that they were members of something described as the “Independent Sovereign State of Australia”. They had, in their dealings with the council, claimed that they were exempt from local government rates. His Honour referred to this only in the context of examining the relationship between the plaintiffs and the council, saying at [138], that it “could be reasonably inferred that such conduct would only harden Council officers’ resolve to thereafter enforce compliance of [sic] the relevant zoning laws”. The plaintiffs were awarded damages for trespass and conversion, but the claimed exemption from rates had no significance at all beyond that which I have mentioned.” 14

Click to access nibbs-v-devonport-city-council-2015-tassc-34.pdf

Liverpool Plains Shire Council v Rumble [2019] FCCA 2317

(At 10) “The first is the philosophy that they have a right to do what they want on their land provided only that it does not infringe the rights of others; and the second was that Mr and Ms Rumble are not subject to the laws of New South Wales, or the authority of the Council, or of the courts, because they have constituted their land as “The Independent Sovereign State of Australia”. Biscoe J did not accept these assertions and, on 25 July 2013, made the orders the Council sought. His Honour also ordered that Mr and Ms Rumble pay the Council’s costs of the proceeding.”

(At 51) “Grounds 14 and 15 of each of the Notices of Opposition state:

14. I would like to acknowledge the Court to my Citizenship status as a Citizen of the Federal Independent Sovereign State Of Australia, our geographical location is North, South, East and West of Australia, as far as the sea that surrounds the land.

15.        I would also like to acknowledge the Court with a receipt for payment from the Creditor accepting my Citizenship right and acknowledging the States [sic] existence.

It is apparent that these grounds seek to make something out of the assertions that there is an entity called the “Federal Independent Sovereign State of Australia”, and that Mr and Ms Rumble are citizens of Australia. These assertions do not constitute a sufficient cause for refusing to make a sequestration order. I need only refer to the following judgment of Kiefel J in Australian Prudential Regulation Authority v Cameron & Anor:

“This is not the first time that such an argument has been raised in Australian courts. Goldberg J, in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Purple Harmony Plates Pty Ltd (2001) FCA 1062 at [28], pointed out that the Commonwealth Constitution recognises the Commonwealth and the States and Territories as the only entities in the federal polity known as the Commonwealth. An area of land cannot cease to be part of a State, except pursuant to s 123 of the Constitution. There are no other constitutional means available for the establishment of a separate political community in Australia. The property said to be that of the independent sovereign state here, upon which the bank conducts its business and in respect of which Mr Cameron and Mr Wheeley are said to be citizens, remains part of Australia.” 15

Click to access liverpool-plains-shire-council-v-rumble-2019-fcca-2317.pdf

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