Leonard Clampett

Leonard Clampett ran a number of proposed constitutional arguments, but the main contention seems to be the section 115 currency argument which appears in many of his cases. He was also among the plaintiffs in Halliday v The Commonwealth of Australia [2000] FCA 950 which contested the Goods and Services Tax, and the New Tax System in general. 

The currency argument

The appellant appealed his conviction for an offence under the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth), but his appeal was dismissed. He then applied to the Supreme Court for judicial review against the District Court Judge who dismissed his appeal, in Clampett v Robyn Hill, Principal Registrar of the District Court of Queensland [2007] QSC 292 1 but refused to make any submissions, so the application was summarily dismissed. 

Click to access clampett-v-robyn-hill-principal-registrar-of-the-district-court-of-queensland-2007-qsc-292.pdf

In Clampett v Hill [2007] QCA 394 2 he appealed this dismissal, contending that the Australia Acts (Request) Act 1985 (Qld) was not preceded by a referendum, and that was contrary to the requirements of s 53 of the Queensland Constitution Act 1867 (Qld) which, because the Queensland Act anticipated alterations to the office of Governor, necessitated a precedent referendum. The court referred to Sharples v Arnison & Ors [2001] QCA 518Skyring v Electoral Commission of Queensland & Anor [2001] QSC 080 and Lohe v Gunter [2003] QSC 150, and rejected the argument. The appellant also sought to re-agitate the so-called “currency argument”, previously rejected on a number of occasions in this court, including  Lohe v Gunter, paras 8-10, and Skyring v Electoral Commission of Queensland paras 7-9, and had been refused by the High Court on a number of applications. The court characterised the appeal as vexatious and it was dismissed.

Click to access clampett-v-hill-ors-2007-qca-394.pdf

The applicant appealed against that decision in Clampett v Kerslake (Electoral Commissioner of Queensland) [2009] QCA 104, 3 alleging that subsection 85(1) of the Electoral Act 1992, which requires that a deposit of $250 “in cash or bank cheque” accompany the nomination of a candidate for election, is invalid, as it is inconsistent with section 115 of the Commonwealth Constitution because it authorises the use of paper money, coins that are not silver or gold coins, and bank cheques. The court noted the currency argument was rejected as vexatious in Clampett v Hill [2007] QCA 394, and also in Re Skyring’s Application (No 2) (1985) 59 ALJR 561, and Re Skyring [1999] QCA 460, where three Justices unanimously dismissed an appeal from Justice White’s decision, affirmed Justice Davies’ statement in Skyring v O’Shea [1995] QCA 376 that, “Time has long passed when it is necessary to set out and reject, once again, the arguments of the appellant.” 

The applicant also contended that enactments leading up to and including the Australia Act 1986 (UK) were constitutionally invalid on account of a failure to comply with referendum requirements in section 53 of the Constitution Act 1867 (Qld), to which the court referred to Clampett v Hill [2007] QCA 394 at 12 to 14. The appeal was struck out as incompetent. 

Click to access clampett-v-kerslake-electoral-commissioner-of-queensland-2009-qca-104.pdf

The appellant sought special leave to appeal to the High Court in Leonard William Clampett v David Kerslake, Electoral Commissioner Of Queensland [2010] HCASL 280 which was likewise rejected. 4

Leonard William Clampett v David Kerslake, Electoral Commissioner Of Queensland - BarNet Jade - BarNet Jade-page-001

Contempt of Court

In Noah v Bailey [2008] FMCA 1002, 5 Leonard Clampett had interrupted proceedings to which he was not a party, yelling obscenities from the public gallery. He was warned once and refused to abide the warning, and was subsequently found guilty on two counts of contempt and was sentenced to imprisonment with hard labour for 28 days on each count, to be served concurrently. He remained in custody for over a week, including during the trial.

Click to access noah-v-bailey2008-fmca-1002.pdf

He successfully appealed this conviction in Clampett v Attorney-General (Cth) [2009] FCAFC 151, 6 as it was unsatisfactory for the Federal Magistrate to have proceeded upon the basis that Mr Clampett would not have paid any fine and that he should therefore have been sentenced to imprisonment without any option to pay.

Click to access clampett-v-attorney-general-of-the-commonwealth-of-australia-2009-fcafc-151.pdf

He applied for costs in Clampett v Attorney-General of the Commonwealth of Australia (No 2) [2010] FCAFC 13 7 but it was refused as the appellants were “the authors of their own misfortune”.  

Click to access clampett-v-attorney-general-of-the-commonwealth-of-australia-no-2-2010-fcafc-13.pdf


In Clampett v Wensley [2009] QSC 164 8 the appellant sought an order that “the election for the entire complement of 89 candidates, ostensibly returned as the Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland from that election, be declared null and void”. The application was dismissed because it was not filed within the time required by s 130(3)(a) of the Act, nor was he entitled under s 129 of the Act to dispute any election other than that for the electoral district in which he was an enrolled elector, and because he did not deposit with the Court $400 when the application was filed, as required by s 130(3)(b) of the Act, as he claimed he could not be required to pay in the expected form of legal tender, as certain provisions of the Currency Act are invalid by reason of s 115 of the Constitution. The court noted that a similar argument was rejected by the Court of Appeal in Clampett v Kerslake and Re Skyring’s Application (No 2).

Click to access clampett-v-wensley-and-ors-2009-qsc-164.pdf

The applicant appealed this decision in Clampett v Wensley [2009] QCA 277 9 and the appeal was dismissed.

Click to access clampett-v-wensley-ors-2009-qca-277.pdf

The applicant sought special leave to appeal this decision from the High Court in Leonard William Clampett v Her Excellency Penelope Wensley, Governor Of Queensland and Ors [2010] HCASL 279, 10 which was likewise dismissed.


Application for special leave to issue further proceedings in the High Court was dismissed in Clampett, In the matter of an application for leave to issue a proceeding [2010] HCATrans 216. 11


An appeal of this decision to dismiss was likewise dismissed in Re: Leonard William Clampett [2010] HCASL 292. 12

Re_ Leonard William Clampett - BarNet Jade - BarNet Jade-page-001

The speeding fine

The applicant was convicted of a speeding offence in Brisbane Magistrates Court, 13 after he argued he could not pay the $200 speeding fine, because “there is no gold and silver coins in common circulation”. He insisted that “A state, as opposed to the Commonwealth, cannot compel you to pay in other than gold and silver coin. Fairly simple.” His argument inevitably failed, with Magistrate Sheryl Cornack finding Mr Clampett guilty and ordering he pay the $200 fine, and $76.90 in court costs. She also ordered he pay police prosecution’s out of pocket expenses, totaling $3500, in obtaining an expert witness.

Three weeks later, Mr Clampett fought to have the ruling overturned by the Supreme Court in Clampett v Magistrate Cornack [2012] QSC 123 14 applying for a judicial review on the grounds no court had previously defined the terms of the constitution. He also raised a challenge to the photographic evidence, contending that the speed camera failed to comply with the National Measurements Act (Cth). Supreme Court Justice Martin Daubney ruled that the basis of his argument “has long been discredited” and dismissed Mr Clampett’s application. “None of the reasons advanced by the applicant amount to any good reason for having instituted the present application.”

“To the extent that the applicants justification for bringing the present application  in this Court relies on a contention that he was precluded from approaching the District Court because of his assertion that this would require him to make payment in a manner which was not “strictly legal manner, constitutionally” (i.e. the legal tender argument referred to in paragraph 2 of his prayer for relief), it is clear that the argument on which that contention is based has been long discredited. It is sufficient in that regard to refer to the judgment of Deane J in Re Skyring’s Application (No 2).”

Click to access clampett-v-magistrate-cornack-2012-qsc-123.pdf

The appellant appealed this decision in Clampett v Magistrate Cornack & Anor [2013] QCA 2 and the application was dismissed. 15

Click to access clampett-v-magistrate-cornack-anor-2013-qca-2.pdf

In Clampett v Magistrate Cornack & Anor [2013] QCA 30 the court ordered the applicant pay the costs of the respondent in these proceedings. 16

Click to access clampett-v-magistrate-cornack-anor-2013-qca-30.pdf

The applicant sought special leave to appeal to the High Court in Leonard William Clampett v Magistrate S Cornack and Anor [2013] HCASL 81 17 and it was likewise dismissed.


Prior to the breach the Commissioner of Police advised the applicant by letter that the speed detection devices comply with National Measurement Act 1960 (Cth). The applicant sought judicial review of that statement in Clampett v Hales & Anor [2013] QCA 3, 18 as the primary judge held that the statement in the letter was not a decision made under an Act.

Click to access clampett-v-hales-anor-2013-qca-3.pdf

The application was dismissed, and in Clampett v Hales & Anor [2013] QCA 31 19 the applicant was ordered to pay the costs of the respondent. 

Click to access clampett-v-hales-anor-2013-qca-31.pdf

Entrenched provisions again

In Clampett v Attorney-General of Queensland [2013] QCA 325  20 the appellant sought orders that the Queensland Parliament had unlawfully presented for Royal assent the Bill for the Australia Acts (Request) Act 1985 (Qld) in breach of section 53 of the Queensland Constitution, that there having been no referendum approving the Bill in accordance with sub-sections 53(2) to (4) the Act was invalid. The court referred to Sharples v Arnison [2002] 2 Qd R 444 and Clampett v Hill & Ors [2007] QCA 394, and also another decision which was inconsistent with the appellant’s argument, R v Minister for Justice and Attorney‑General of Queensland, ex parte Skyring [1986] QSC 8. The court noted:

“Notwithstanding the authoritative decision in Sharples v Arnison the appellant advanced similar arguments in Clampett v Hill & Ors, where they were again rejected.  There is no reason to doubt the correctness of those decisions.  The appellant had not advanced any new argument of substance.  The appeal should be dismissed.”

Click to access clampett-v-attorney-general-of-queensland-2013-qca-325.pdf

Unlicenced driving

The applicant was convicted of driving a motor vehicle while his driver’s licence was suspended under the State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999 (Qld). He appealed against that decision in the District Court, arguing that there was bias or a denial of natural justice on the part of the magistrate; that deemed knowledge of the suspension was an error of law; that proof of mens rea was required under s 78 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (Qld); and that he was prosecuted under the wrong name. The District Court judge dismissed the appeal and the further appeal against the sentence.

In Clampett v Queensland Police Service [2016] QCA 345 21 the applicant sought an extension of time in which to appeal against the judgment of the District Court dismissing his appeal from the Magistrates Court, but as he failed to demonstrate error on the part of the District Court judge from whose judgment leave to appeal was sought, leave to appeal was refused.

Click to access clampett-v-queensland-police-service-2016-qca-345.pdf

The applicant again sought special leave to appeal to the High Court in Leonard William Clampett v Qld Police Services [2017] HCASL 64 22 which was refused.

Leonard William Clampett v Qld Police Services [2017] HCASL 64-page-001

Preferential voting

In Clampett, In the matter of an application for leave to issue or file [2019] HCATrans 2 23 the applicant sought to file an Application for a Constitutional or other Writ in order to commence a proceeding against the Treasurer of the Commonwealth, Joshua Anthony Frydenberg, for his removal from the House of Representatives; and that he be prohibited from sitting in the Parliament. The application was dismissed.

Click to access clampett-in-the-matter-of-an-application-for-leave-to-issue-or-file-2019-hcatrans-2.pdf

In the Matter Of An Application by Leonard William Clampett for Leave To Appeal [2019] HCASL 193 24

ITMO an application by Leonard William Clampett for leave to appeal (B13-2019) [2019] HCASL 193-page-001

Clampett, In the matter of an application for leave to issue or file [2019] HCATrans 154 25

Clampett, In the matter of an application for leave to issue or file [2019] HCATrans 154-page-002