Baker v New South Wales Police [2013] NSWSC 57

The appellant was convicted of refusing to provide a breath sample, speeding, and not producing a driver’s licence. He appealed in Baker v New South Wales Police [2013] NSWSC 57 on the grounds he was denied his “inalienable right to trial by jury”, and demanded $250,000.00 in damages. He also contended that all judges must be appointed by the Governor-General, and that the appeal court had no jurisdiction, demanding the appeal be conducted by a jury. The court dismissed the appeal and noted:

“This latter relief claimed by the plaintiff appears internally inconsistent, in that, assuming that the Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the proceedings without a jury, it follows that it has no power to make any order, including that the matter proceed before a jury (assuming that such an order was available).”

Click to access baker-v-new-south-wales-police-2013-nswsc-57.pdf

The appellant applied for leave to appeal from this decision in Baker v Attorney General for New South Wales [2013] NSWCA 329 on the same grounds but was unsuccessful.

Click to access baker-v-attorney-general-for-new-south-wales-2013-nswca-329.pdf

Due to domestic violence incidents around the time of the initial offences in 2011, an arrest warrant was issued for the appellant Cyril Brett Baker, and the police attended their farm property. His spouse Patricia Mae Baker had a firearms licence, and after being questioned whether there were firearms in the house, there were concerns whether she might not be able to personally exercise continuous and responsible control over the firearms because of her living and domestic circumstances. The Commissioner of Police, as administrator of the Firearms Act 1996, subsequently revoked the firearms licence. Mrs Baker applied for review, the Tribunal affirmed the Commissioner’s decision, and she then appealed that decision in Baker v Commissioner of Police, NSW Police Force (GD) [2013] NSWADTAP 54.

Mr Baker was granted leave to appear on her behalf in this hearing, and he began by challenging the legitimacy of the proceedings, and alleged the Tribunal’s members whose appointments were made by the Governor-in-council, were invalid because the Governor’s own appointment was invalid. He also questioned the Tribunal’s competence to sit on the ground that the tribunal was not a ‘court’ and on the ground that it did not have a jury to decide matters of fact. He also questioned the authority of the Commissioner of Police, whom he described as an employee of the NSW Police Force. The court held the decision had proper regard to the understandable concern of police visiting a remote property, for the purpose of arresting a person, that they receive accurate answers to questions about the presence or otherwise of firearms on the property. Further, the setting on that night was one where the police had to pass by aggressively- expressed ‘no trespassing’ signs at the entrance to the property that named a variety of officials as, in effect, not welcome including police.

Click to access baker-v-commissioner-of-police-nsw-police-force-gd-2013-nswadtap-54.pdf

Cyril Brett Baker was charged with further offences, some which were due to be heard on 8 July 2014. He sought prerogative relief against the prior convictions and the pending matter in Baker v NSW Police Force [2014] NSWSC 907,  on the grounds that a trial by jury was required in each matter, seeking a permanent stay on proceedings until “…a lawfully constituted Chapter III court having proper jurisdiction is convened, with a jury empanelled” and again demanded $250, 000 in damages. Further, he raised concerns whether the Governor General and State Governors were “…lawfully authorised and appointed under Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Ireland to carry out their duties according to the Commonwealth of Australia Contitution Act 1900”. The matter was again dismissed for reasons already given in the previous cases.

Click to access baker-v-nsw-police-force-2014-nswsc-907.pdf