THE Wonthaggi Magistrates’ Court was temporarily in uproar, at the start of proceedings last Friday, June 28, when a member of the public attempted to turn the tables on the magistrate and police prosecutor.
Kardella South man, and constitutional campaigner, James Rech, was listed to appear on a charge relating to breaching a personal safety intervention order, but instead of the matter being heard by Magistrate Jacinta Studham, Mr Rech challenged the authority of the court to hear his case.
And he ultimately attempted to arrest Magistrate Studham, Police Prosecutor LSC Simon Phillips and justice staff on a charge of treason, in that they allowed the day’s proceedings to continue without the ultimate authority of the Queen, which he said that been removed but not replaced by referendum.
Magistrate Studham managed to maintain control of the court and the incident at all times, asking Mr Rech three times if he intended to enter a plea to the safety order breach charge, but also advising him that she would not be hearing the matter on the day.
Instead the case was adjourned to the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 for a contest mention hearing, with a day set aside to hear from two civilian and two police witnesses.
Mr Rech said he would also be calling witnesses.
“I’ve got an issue with these proceedings,” Mr Rech told the Sentinel-Times before his case was called last week.
“I’ve already advised the Attorney General Jill Hennessy and the Governor’s office about what we were intending to do today. They are in breach of their oath to the Queen and so is the magistrate here today, the police prosecutor and the other court officers,” he alleged.
In line with the arrest of a magistrate at Wangaratta in May last year, he said he intended to arrest Magistrate Studham on Friday as a sworn Commonwealth Public Official, brandishing a ‘Certificate of Acknowledgement’ signed and sealed by Notary Public Michael Kraus.
“I’m the only properly authorised officer here,” he said.
And he attempted to do just that when Ms Studham arrived at the bench and Mr Rech’s case was called.
“If this goes ahead, I’ll arrest you for concealing treason today, and any officer of the court sitting unlawfully,” Mr Rech said in a raised voice, addressing the magistrate.
“I have heard what you have to say but the High Court has already decided these matters,” Magistrate Studham said.
“I’m not hearing your matter today. It’s an administrative hearing to be listed for a contest hearing. Do you intend to plead?” she asked.
“I’m arresting you for treason. What is your authority?” Mr Rech continued.
After further exchanges of that nature, Ms Studham told Rech that his matter was concluded and he was free to go.
“This is a treasonous court,” Mr Rech shouted while exiting the courtroom.
The business of the day continued.