You have to know your rights to be FREE!

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 The following is an article that appeared in TCP # 16 and together with Chris Ayres article, Your Vessel Is Your Home, made a profound difference in the activities of Queensland water cops. Since then, Australian Customs, using the Howard governments so-called anti-terroism laws, has become famously aggressive in this regard and their supposed right to board has not been tested but 500 years of legal tradition and common decency do stand against them. Always be careful of those people.

 Right To Board???

 As Lord Denning MR said in Southam v Smout (1964) 1 QB 308 at 320, adopting a quotation from the Earl of Chatham:

“The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail - its roof may shake - the wind may blow through it - the storm may enter - the rain may enter - but the King of England cannot enter - all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement. So be it - unless he has justification by law.”

 The late US supreme court justice Jackson;

“Among deprivation of rights, none is so effective in cowing a population, crushing the spirit of the individual and putting terror in every heart. Uncontrolled search and seizure is one of the first and most effective weapons in the arsenal of every arbitrary government… But the right to be secure against searches and seizures is one of the most difficult to protect. Since the officers are themselves the chief invaders, there is no enforcement outside the court.”

 By Bob Norson

If you are boarded by any official without a warrant (except in the case of a police officer who reasonably expects to find evidence, contraband or a person sought for crimes etc) you may have a case against the individual(s) involved that could cost them many thousands.

This subject was discussed in previous issues of TCP and it has had an effect out there but you should know the up-date and how the officials are responding.

Trespass is a serious crime which can be compounded by an ignored request for the perpetrator to leave. It is regrettable that this is information that you should know but since the Dollop Wallopers are intent on abusing your rights you may need to do your homework to protect yourself. Did I say it has had an effect? Oh yeah! We have several accounts of boats that have refused boarding and have been successful in keeping their floating home safeguarded. We have reports that “fisheries” and some others are now openly tape recording contacts. I believe this is likely a means to insure your permission, if granted, is secured on record.
These people practice on how to trick you into giving permission to board and you may not even realise they have done it. It can be very difficult for people brought up to a standard of courtesy to not respond positively if the question is asked just so. Don't be induced into a conversation that may be disguised as congenial. An example of this idea that you may be familiar with.. you have been stopped by a cop for speeding on the highway. What's the first question the cop asks? “Why were you going so fast?” You are meant to believe that if you have a good enough reason the cop may let you off, so, you say something like.. “oh, not to fast was I? I'm a little late for my daughters wedding!” While you are grovelling, the cop is writing in their notebook, “driver admits not knowing his speed and was in a hurry to get to wedding.” You were done the instant the lights came on and if you contest it later the cops note will probably prevent you from winning. Say nothing and watch them freak out, or I like to respond; “you mean your case is so poor you feel you have to trick me into an admission to make a conviction?” That's beside the point but the idea is don't say anything except “I do not give permission to board my vessel.” In short, since there is no successful answer to an “are you still beating your wife,” question, don’t answer. Watch every word.. they are!

“They boarded my vessel anyway!” An important case to refer to is that of “Plenty V Dillon” decided in the supreme court of South Australia in 1997. The web has many references to it. Essentially, two cops came to a home with a summons for a person not there. The resident asked them to leave and they did not. The resident then raised a piece of timber that the cops claimed was a threat so they “disarmed him” (I can imagine how!) and arrested him, charged with assault. The supreme court found that the resident had the “entitlement to resist the officer's entry on his land.” The court found for the resident and assessed $146,000 in damages and interest. There is more to the case of course but the point is, you do have rights! If you think you may have such a case you should talk to a lawyer for advice. As I say, this is merely information.

Myself? If I had a job that required me to invade a fellow citizens home… I would refuse or quit on the spot. As a matter of principal and because if there is a suit, it is against the individuals not the boss! The defence of “I was just following orders,” hasn’t worked since the Nazi’s tried for it.