Friday, September 9, 2016

When regulation becomes state tyranny: the case of NSW, Australia

Coffs Harbour fishermen protest against new state legislation.
Photo: Ruby Cornish via ABC Rural

With notes from Democracy Defined: The Manifesto (Ken d’Oudney)

IN the state of New South Wales commercial fishermen are fighting for freedom and commonsense as the Department of Primary Industries strangles their industry with oppressive and even life-threatening regulations on what was once seen as an everyday commercial activity – supplying the state’s fish markets.

Similar oppressive regulations have been imposed upon the state’s farmers by a succession of governments in the name of ‘preserving biodiversity’. Farmers have effectively lost the ability to manage their own farms. The same government has declared its intention to ban the sport of greyhound racing – and the largely rural industries associated with it.

These alarming developments raise an important question: If government in our system is given its authority by the people, then why is this government acting directly against the will of the people who elect it?

Commercial fishing regulations in NSW involve extreme “micro-management” of people in the manner of a jailer over prisoners. The NSW Department of Primary Industries decrees that “fishers” (we must use the non-sexist term of course) in a certain category can only fish in estuaries at night by themselves. Neither can anyone help with launching or unloading that boat at the jetty. They can be fined $550 for merely shining a torch at the fisherman or even offering a cup of coffee!

Even worse is that a regulation imposed by a government agency should put people in mortal danger. Four fatalities in the past few years have been attributed to fishermen being forced into solo fishing at night with no companion to assist in an emergency or lack of mobile coverage in many areas. But those who make the rules and impose the penalties have been far from willing to listen to reason or the public they are supposed to serve.

Has it been lost upon those in authority in NSW that fines and punishments should only be applied to people who do something wrong or harmful? Such regulations appear to be simply a threat of force to control behaviour and to strangle an industry seen as some sort of threat the environment.  Section 270.1 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code defines the term ‘slavery’ as “the condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised, including where such a condition results from a debt or contract made by the person”. The same Criminal Code also outlaws “slavery-like practices”.

In effect, NSW’s so-called “fishing laws” reverse the traditional definition of law, which is to protect life and property and provide remedy for those who suffer harm or loss.

Fishing industry spokesmen say their government is clearly intent on suppression of their trade. At least one former politician is on the record as saying that the people who make a living from fishing will be “starved out” of their occupation and reduced to a mere 500 businesses on the entire NSW coast. In the 1980s there were more than 6000 commercial fishing businesses.  

To underline how corrupt and oppressive NSW statute laws have become, we need to look into some history of our Westminster system of government. Englishman Kenn d’Oudney notes in his book Democracy Defined: The Manifesto1: “It remains a universal criterion of justice that the validity and justice of laws and all acts of their enforcement require them to be judged not by those who make and enforce the laws (government), but by those who voluntarily agree to abide by the laws (all adult citizens). All men and women who do not uphold this tenet are then promoting unlawful rule by a tyrannical √©lite.”

“Tyrannical elite” fits perfectly today to the powerful, highly-paid (and armed) public servants who strictly enforce endless, micro-managing regulations under the threat of penalties than can bankrupt an individual or small business. Armed NSW fisheries officers have even threatened NSW fishermen on occasion.

Supposedly, this is all to save “dwindling, threatened fish stocks”, which has long been disputed by independent scientific opinion. Regardless, the fishermen themselves rely on conservation of the seafood resource and have substantially submitted to the declaration of various coastal parks and no-fishing zones.

But the political reality is not about protecting resources, it is controlling them under the United Nations’ Agenda 21 (now Agenda 20-30) planning template. The regulations forcing this change are tyrannical, as might be expected under a system of global, centralized control of population and resources.

This is essentially why these behaviour-modifying regulations are put into place by senior public servants and compliant politicians – in that order. Senior corporate bureaucrats implement UN “policy guidelines” drawn up under “international treaty obligations” and other global agreements that most Australians have never heard of. Concurrrent with this is pressure from environmentalist groups ranging from the high-powered Pew Foundation in America to Greenpeace and others pushing the globalist Agenda 21 program.

But international law and UN treaties cannot override our inherent rights and freedoms. They only have force when legislated into place with the consent of the people through their elected representatives – and even then they must not override the will or the welfare of the people in what we loosely call a democracy.

Some claim that parliaments in the west have supreme power (parliamentary supremacy) to legislate whatever they want. This is a half truth. Under the Westminster parliamentary tradition they can indeed legislate what they want but the people can also judge and overrule the statute law they make if that statute law is unjust or destructive or violates the rights of the people. They can also vote the politicians out.

D’Oudney further writes in Democracy Defined: The Manifesto: “Naturally, people have the moral responsibility, the right and the duty to resist and suppress injustice wherever it occurs, and by whomsoever it is perpetrated, governments notwithstanding. By definition and in practice, Democracy and Justice require that the People at all times retain the Supreme Power to annul injustices and the bad laws made by fallible politicians … According to legem terr√¶* common law, it is the jurors’ duty in Trial by Jury to judge the justice of the law and every act of enforcement and acquit any persons
accused under an arbitrary, unjust or apocryphal statute, regulation or prosecution.” (pp 2-3)

Mr d’Oudney and his fellow researchers Astrid and Joanna d’Oudney, have devoted themselves to reawakening all people – not just those who live under the Westminster system and English law – to this principle that power in a free society resides with the people and their ability to judge the law. 

D’Oudney cites, among others, Harlan F. Stone, US Chief Justice 1941-1946, on the Juror’s Duty in the authentic Trial by Jury, as follows:

“If a juror feels that the statute involved in any criminal offence is unfair, or that it infringes upon the defendant’s natural God-given unalienable or Constitutional rights, then it is his duty to affirm that the offending statute is really no law at all and that the violation of it is no crime at all, for no one is bound to obey an unjust law. That juror must vote Not Guilty regardless of the pressures or abuses that may be heaped on him by any or all members of the jury with whom he may in good conscience disagree. He is voting on the justice of the law according to his own conscience and convictions and not someone else’s. The law itself is on trial quite as much as the case which is to be decided.” (p.3)

Today, in Australia, that is a radical concept as state governments and their supposed public servants wage war on any activity deemed to be some sort of threat to the environment or a threat to the big commercial interests that have rigged rules and regulations within legislation to serve their own interests.

The commercial fishing community has tried to co-operate with the politicians and public servants. They are protesting the most dangerous of the regulations but have made little progress. Their role, according to current “corporate management” fads, is merely to comply. “Compliance” has become a part of corporate management systems that operate within the public service.

Kenn d’Oudney further cites the case ruling of United States v. Moylan; U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1969, 417 F. 2d 1002 as an example of how true democracy should work.  “If the jury feels the law is unjust, we recognise the undisputed power of the jury to acquit even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge, and contrary to the evidence. If the jury feels that the law under which the defendant is accused is unjust, or that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision.”

It should be noted that the United States and Australia both share that English common law tradition and US case law can be used in Australian courts.

Is it not time for a jury to judge whether the NSW government is imposing unjust and harmful statute laws and regulations upon the state’s commercial fishermen, its farmers and its greyhound breeders?

Without doubt it is time, as the government of NSW (and most if not all others in Australia) has not only put in place tyrannical regulations that endanger life and take away liberty, but has brazenly defied the will of people who it is elected to serve.

Just as the American colonists decided that their English king and his government had become oppressors and tyrants, perhaps it is time to declare the same about governments in Australia and separate the right from the wrong. It is time to restate the principles upon which free societies and free peoples operate. We can leave the last words with the American colonists and their Declaration of Independence:

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription2
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

  1. d'Oudney, Kenn. DEMOCRACY DEFINED: The Manifesto (p. 5). SCORPIO RECORDING COMPANY (PUBLISHING) LTD.. Kindle Edition.
  2. The US National Archives and Records Administration

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