The Houtman Abrolhos Islands are about 80km off the coast of Geraldton, Western Australia. Kristin MacDonald declared himself to be the “Prince of the Abrolhos” and claims to have adverse possession of all 122 of the islands as a micronation.
He operates the Facebook page “Abrolhos Island Accommodation” which also has links to his documents: Court Case #2, Court Case #2-b, and Court Case #2-c which demonstrate plentiful examples of pseudo legal contentions, as well as his association to another separatist attempt, “New Westralia” who had convened their own common law court to deal with the issue.
In the footsteps of David Walter, Kristin MacDonald had even wrote a “Petition of Right” to Queen Elizabeth II regarding his alleged possession of the islands.
In July 2019, the Houtman Abrolhos was declared a national park by the Western Australian government, and most of the land area is off limits as conservation habitat. The islands are an unincorporated area with no municipal government, subject to direct administration of the government of Western Australia, and management is vested in the Department of Fisheries.
In early 2021 he was charged by Western Australia Fisheries officers with allegedly travelling to a Fish Habitat Protection Area, and unlawfully using a jetty at the islands. In July 2021 he was further charged with trespass, damaging a CCTV camera on one of the islands, and breaching a misconduct restraining order.
He was remanded in custody after refusing to sign the bail agreement because “the whole thing is a fraud” claiming his correct name was not read out, and telling Magistrate Christian Miocevich that he did not recognise his authority or understand the charges against him. The Magistrate said he had sent “numerous emails to the court”. ABC: “‘Prince of the Abrolhos’ faces staying behind bars after refusing to sign bail papers“:
The West Australian: “Kristin MacDonald faces Geraldton court on trespass and criminal damage charges“:
On 19 April 2022, Kristin MacDonald contacted me requesting legal advice, which I declined. He claims that his family has lived on the islands for 72 years. The case is ongoing and this page will be updated at that point.
But to highlight a few errors that are immediately apparent, firstly, there is no doubt that the islands are in the possession of the Crown. The government of Western Australia has been legislating regarding the islands for over 150 years, and in both 1904 and 1911, they were included as part of the Electoral District of Geraldton.
This is important, because once a territory is claimed by the Crown, the courts cannot challenge the claim. It is a principle stated by Gibbs J. in New South Wales v. The Commonwealth  HCA 58 (at 14) that: “The acquisition of territory by a sovereign state for the first time is an act of state which cannot be challenged, controlled or interfered with by the courts of that state.” and that the principle “…precludes any contest between the executive and the judicial branches of government as to whether a territory is or is not within the Crown’s Dominions.” To put it simply, a court’s single source of authority, and the extent of the parameters of its jurisdiction are derived solely from the Crown itself, therefore it has no authority or jurisdiction to hear challenges to the legitimacy of the Crown’s jurisdiction, as logically it would be challenging its own jurisdiction in the process.
Further, it held in the same decision that the Crown possesses prerogative power to acquire new territory or extend its sovereignty or jurisdiction, which is how it came to acquire the uninhabited islands initially.
Secondly, there can be no title by adverse possession over Crown land, pursuant to section 36 of the Limitation Act 1935 (WA):
Kristin MacDonald’s case returned for trial early February 2023. He challenged the authority of the court to hear the matter, claiming it was a matter of international law because the Abrolhos Islands falls outside of state waters. Magistrate Heidi Watson reserved her decision, expected to be handed down on May 10.