Althaus v Australia Meat Holdings Pty Ltd & Ors [2010] QCA 312

Althaus v Australia Meat Holdings Pty Ltd & Ors [2010] QCA 312:

“The appellant has subsequently asserted that he is a Commonwealth public official, Commonwealth entity or authority so that his matters must be dealt with in a court upon which Federal jurisdiction has been conferred under Ch III of the Constitution. He claims to be a Commonwealth public official because s 13 of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) permits any person to institute either summary proceedings or proceedings for commitment for trial in respect of Commonwealth offences and the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) defines “Commonwealth Public Official” as including “an individual … who exercises powers, or performs functions, conferred on the person by or under a law of the Commonwealth.” Under the Criminal Code, a “Commonwealth authority” is “a body established by or under a law of the Commonwealth” and “person” is defined as including a “Commonwealth authority that is not a body corporate.” “Commonwealth entity” means the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority. All of those descriptions then, the appellant says, fit him and he is entitled to the protection of the Commonwealth’s judicial power.

The appellant’s claim to be a Commonwealth public official, authority or entity whose matters must be heard by a court exercising Federal jurisdiction under Ch III, is a nonsense. Assuming that there exists a Commonwealth Act in which no contrary intention appears in respect of the general capacity to prosecute conferred by s 13, and assuming (in the absence of any evidence) that the appellant is “an individual who exercises [s 13] powers” so as to make him a Commonwealth public official, that confers no right of having his matters heard in the Federal Court. Nor will it make him a body established by or under a law of the Commonwealth so as to be a Commonwealth authority or a Commonwealth entity. A body may be a person for certain purposes but an individual person cannot be a body by himself, let alone one established by or under law.”

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