Ogawa has been in and out of Queensland and Federal courts, often as a self-represented litigant (SRL). (One chronology, as of 2008, is provided here as part of the judgment in Ogawa v Parker  FCA 388. Other cases are noted at * below.)
Overall it is a sad story of someone who appears to be talented and energetic - eg is the author of several papers and of Protection of Broadcasters' Rights (Leiden: Martinus Nijhof 2006) - but has what one student characterised as "serious issues", with a history of clashes with university colleagues, the Immigration Department, the Education Department, people on the bench and court staff.
Last year a District Court jury in Brisbane - reported in The Queen v Ogawa  QDC 238 - found Ogawa guilty of two counts of using a carriage service to harass and two counts of threatening to kill court staff on various dates between 12 April and 19 May 2006. Ogawa had sent 83 emails over two days in April and made 176 phone calls to the Federal Court registry and chambers (eg to Christopher Young, the Associate to the Chief Justice of the Federal Court), including threats to kill court employees Tim Conrad and Jane Musset.
She was jailed for contempt over her conduct in court during trial, with Durward J punishing Ogawa's "disgraceful" behaviour and commenting - arguably with some hyperbole - that it was unlikely any Queensland court had witnessed such scenes. Her behaviour included yelling and screaming loudly, claiming she was about to soil herself, struggling with Corrective Services security guards, trying to disrobe, and exposing her buttocks to a journalist - or in some accounts to the Bench - while being dragged into court in handcuffs. At one stage she was carried out of the courtroom, where she could be heard continuing to scream on her way to the watchhouse cells. She was unrepresented at the trial. The trial judge found that she had deliberately withdrawn instructions from each of seven legal representatives appointed by Legal Aid Queensland to appear on her behalf. It is difficult not to feel sorry for everyone involved in her disputes.
The judge stood over the hearing of the contempt charge and the sentence proceedings, with Ogawa being legally represented. She was convicted of contempt, being sentenced for that offence and for the Commonwealth offences (ie misuse of the carriage service).
Durward J said that he did not accept her acts were due to any psychological issues - "In my view you wilfully set out to disrupt court proceedings (with behaviour) I doubt many other courts have had to endure". He went on to comment that her conduct "has given rise to a real risk of undermining public confidence in the administration of justice".
In providing remarks on her sentencing he ordered Ogawa not be present, saying he expected she would disrupt the court again, but ordered Ogawa that she be brought into the prisoner's dock to hear her punishment. Media reports from that time indicate that, handcuffed, she screamed non-stop as she was dragged into the court by three security guards who restrained her as she tried to struggle with them. The Age reports that "Judge Durward could hardly be heard over Ogawa's noise, which was echoing outside the courtroom and down the courthouse corridor".
The Queensland Court of Appeal, in a 52-page decision on R v Ogawa  QCA 307, subsequently dismissed her appeal against the conviction for the Commonwealth offences and for contempt. She was legally represented on the hearing of the appeal. Her grounds of challenge to the convictions for the Commonwealth offences included the absence of an inquiry into her fitness to plead and the wrongful admission of certain evidence. The Court rejected each of the grounds, save those which complained of the wrongful admission of evidence. These challenges were upheld but the appeal was dismissed under the proviso to s 668E(1A) of the Queenslan Criminal Code, the Supreme Court being satisfied that there had been no substantial miscarriage of justice.
As discussed in Special Leave to Appeal (Brisbane: Supreme Court of Queensland Library 2007) by David O'Brien, the High Court does not accept all special applications. The High Court's rejection of her application notes that Ogawa had been unrepresented at her trial after the judge found she had deliberately withdrawn instructions from each of several legal representatives appointed by Legal Aid Queensland. French CJ however noted that Ogawa was legally trained, a person who held a PhD in Law awarded by an Australian university.
She has been diagnosed as having a borderline personality disorder. Her behaviour in court was highly disruptive, which led the trial judge to direct that she be removed from the courtroom. In the result, the applicant was unrepresented and largely absent throughout the trialFrench said Ogawa's challenge to her conviction for contempt was on grounds which included that the charge was not properly particularised, that the trial judge had not properly examined the psychiatric evidence and erred by failing to refer the applicant to the Mental Health Court. Her application for special leave to appeal from the orders of the Qld Court of Appeal was on the grounds that the Qld court erred with respect to the need for a fitness hearing and challenge the application of the proviso.
French CJ indicated that there had been no substantial miscarriage of justice. The Court of Appeal's conclusion was based upon a careful review of the evidence.
There are insufficient prospects of successful challenge to the applicant's convictions for the Commonwealth offences to warrant the grant of special leave to appeal. The applicant's challenge to her conviction for contempt of court also does not warrant the grant of special leave* Some of the decisions include -
Ogawa v The University of Melbourne  FCA 1099 - here
Ogawa v The University of Melbourne  FCA 1208 - here
Ogawa v Federal Magistrate Phipps  FCA 361 - here
Ogawa v Colbeck  FCA 1910 - here
Ogawa v Colbeck & Anor (No.2)  FMCA 2127 - here
Ogawa v Secretary, Department of Education, Science & Training  FCA 1472 - here
Ogawa v Registrar of the High Court of Australia  FCA 607 - here
Ogawa v Minister for Immigration & Anor  FMCA 1039 - here
Ogawa v Spender  FCAFC 68 - here