David Fitzgibbon

Barrister David Fitzgibbon appeared in many cases attempting the contention that the Royal Style and Titles Act 1973 is invalid and unconstitutional, or that there was a “break in sovereignty” from the time of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, among many other contentions that were settled in prior jurisprudence.

Often Mr Fitzgibbon was instructed by Wayne Levick, and influenced by the concepts asserted by the Institute of Taxation Research, both of which were in dozens of cases ordered to pay the costs of the respondent, as “…the subject arguments “clearly originated with the lawyers”; that is, Mr Levick and Mr Fitzgibbon…” The Federal Court also declared that the respondents Institute of Taxation Research and Wayne Levick engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct contravening the Trade Practices Act 1974, by making representations that there are arguments available to avoid payment of taxes and that by using their services one can make the payment of any Commonwealth or State imposed tax optional. The arguments were centered around the proposition that:

(a) the Australian legal system has no basis in law;
(b) the Australian Constitution is invalid;
(c) there is no basis in law for the exercise of the legislative powers of the state and federal Parliaments;
(d) there is no basis in law for the exercise of the executive powers of Australian governments; and
(e) Australian taxation legislation is invalid.

Wayne Levick lost his practising certificate and two of the former directors of the Institute of Taxation Research, Ian Sidney Henke and Lance Stewart Miller were later convicted of a conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth, after records seized under the companies foreclosure detailed a fraudulent scheme. David Fitzgibbon appeared in dozens of these cases, which you can read in the article The Institute of Taxation Research and Wayne Levick.

David Fitzgibbon also appeared for Catherine Burns in Burns v State of Queensland [2004] QSC 434. It was appealed in Burns v State of Queensland and Croton [2006] QCA 235 in which David Walter appeared in order to assist her with a written argument. The identical “Fee Simple Alienation Argument” was contended by Dick Yardley in Booth v Yardley and Anor [2006] QPEC 119.

The Institute of Taxation Research was dissolved by 2002, but in 2004, David Fitzgibbon took it one step further, bringing a case before the British High Court regarding Australia, seeking damages from the Government of the United Kingdom in the sum of five million pounds, and a declaration by the court that the title “Elizabeth the Second by the Grace, of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth” and the Letters Patent of 21 August 1984 are void and of no effect.

The case was dismissed, first by Master Bowman in David Claude Fitzgibbon v Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (2004) HC 03C03923, and on appeal by Justice Lightman in Fitzgibbon v HM Attorney General [2005] EWHC 114 (Ch), both cases referring to earlier jurisprudence regarding the divisibility of the Crown, and that the British Courts had no jurisdiction over Australian affairs.

David Claude Fitzgibbon was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of New Zealand on 3 February 1975. Whilst in New Zealand he practiced as a litigation lawyer in Christchurch. On 5 May 1985 he was admitted as a solicitor in Victoria and on 22 May 1985 was admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales. On 18 December 1987 he was admitted to the Supreme Court Roll of Barristers, and commenced practice as a barrister in New South Wales on 19 January 1988. He was issued with a practising certificate on 1 July 1988 subject to pupilage conditions and an unrestricted practising certificate on 14 August 1990. The respondent then held an unrestricted practising certificate until 30 June 2002. On 5 December 2002 he was again issued with an unrestricted practising certificate and he continued to hold one until 30 June 2010. At that time his professional indemnity insurance was denied on the basis of a complaint by the Council of the New South Wales Bar Association. 

In Council of the Bar Association of NSW v Fitzgibbon [2010] NSWADT 291 the Council of the New South Wales Bar Association filed an application which sought findings that David Fitzgibbon had been guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct in his preparation of various written submissions on behalf of Mr Bernard Hardt in Hardt v Environmental Protection Authority [2007] NSWCCA 338, and that these submissions failed to reach a standard of competence and diligence that could be expected by a member of the public and breached the Respondent’s duty to the Court and to his client. The respondent applied to have the proceedings struck out on the ground that the application was brought outside the time limited under the Legal Profession Act 2004 (NSW)  and that the application fails to allege matters that could ever amount to unsatisfactory professional conduct. The respondents application was dismissed, and the matter was relisted for further directions and the allocation, if appropriate, of a hearing date for the substantive application. The respondent could have but did not apply for leave to appeal from the Tribunal’s determination, and instead commenced proceedings by summons, claiming prerogative relief to quash the Tribunal’s determination, in Fitzgibbon v Council of New South Wales Bar Association [2011] NSWCA 165The summons was dismissed. The applicant then sought special leave to appeal to the High Court in David Claude Fitzgibbon v Council Of the New South Wales Bar Association and Anor [2011] HCASL 188, which was likewise dismissed. In Council of the New South Wales Bar Association v Fitzgibbon [2012] NSWADT 56 the Tribunal made a finding of unsatisfactory professional conduct in relation to Ground 1, and the matter was listed for directions with a view to it being set down for hearing of the appropriate orders to be made by the Tribunal. In Council of the New South Wales Bar Association v Fitzgibbon (No. 3) [2012] NSWADT 148 the Tribunal maintained the opinion that the imposition of a fine was not appropriate and that a reprimand alone offered insufficient protection to the public, and that the appropriate order was that the respondent be reprimanded and that any future practising certificate be subject to the conditions that he:

“…shall not advise with respect to, or appear in:
(a) Any appeal from the Local Court, District Court, Supreme Court or Federal Court;
(b) Any matter in the Land & Environment Court;
(c) Any matter in the Court of Appeal or Court of Criminal Appeal; and
(d) Any matter in the High Court,
…without being led by senior counsel and this condition is to be disclosed to any prospective client and instructing solicitor.”

Council of the New South Wales Bar Association v Fitzgibbon (No. 4) [2012] NSWADT 145 was in relation to a claim for compensation bought by the Complainant Mr Bernard Hardt against the respondent, on the grounds that none of the grounds of appeal was arguable; and that should have been appreciated by the respondent; and both the written submissions and oral submissions made in support of those grounds of appeal were inadequate. The Tribunal ordered the respondent to pay $13,500 in compensation.