23 June 2011

Witch and Secession

Last year I noted the delightful claim by self-described witch Eilish De Avalon that she was "from another world" and therefore wasn't subject to mundane traffic law. She was reported by the Geelong Herald as telling a traffic policeman that "Your laws and penalties don't apply to me. I'm not accepting them, I'm sorry, I must go, thank you" before dragging him down the road for 200 metres. Presumably he was lucky not to be turned into a frog.

Last year she was sentenced to two months imprisonment, with a further four months suspended, apparently having pleaded guilty to recklessly causing serious injury and dangerous driving. There seems to have been no penalty for driving without a licence.

That's puzzling if we believe the fulsome claims on her website, which indicate that she claims some prowess in clairvoyance (surely she foresaw the meeting with a member of the Victorian Police and a question or two in court).
I come from a long line of Hungarian/Transylvanian intuitive clairvoyants and I've been psychic all my life. I am clairvoyant, clairaudient and clairsentient which means I have psychic vision, hearing and feeling and can see auras, spirits and can communicate with them too. ...

I have consulted famous people, helped police in their missing persons/homicide investigations and often commune with deceased loved ones in the spirit world because I am a gifted spirit medium too. ... My six month previews are also very popular. I'm an eerily accurate, profound clairvoyant and I invite you to have a reading with me, if you are not happy, you don't have to pay!
The oh so talented De Avalon offers "healing services" -
I am an experienced advanced spiritual healer, Reiki Master, colour therapist, chakra and auric diagnostician and can help when you are feeling out of kilter but can't put your finger on the imbalance or when you just feel like a pick-me-up. I also do clearings of a more serious nature when entity removals are needed or when the soul is fragmented when your power has been given away or taken from you.

Spiritual healings are particularly powerful as preventative medicine, realigning and changing the auric frequencies around the physical body before they manifest into physical imbalances and illnesses. They can help cut ties with old fears, phobias, traumas balancing the body, mind and spirit, in a holistic, non invasive way. I can also assist you in breaking of old habits or letting go of things that are holding you back from moving on with your life.

Spiritual Healing is cross-dimensional healing, it can help heal deep spiritual wounds, imbalances and scars from past lives, from current lives and post lives right down to the subcellular level, whatever the person's own belief system. This subtle yet powerful form of healing actually is a process of me, the "healer" facilitating your own healing and internal balance by channelling you energy that allows for the movement of chi and unclearing blockages and shadows within the system.

Scanning the body with the palm of my hand with closed physical eyes, my inbuilt spiritual "radar" can detect imbalances and feel energy distortions and irregularities that are too subtle to detect by any other conventional means, these distortions can be found in the physical body or any of the seven auric layers outside of the physical body that vibrate at more and more refined frequencies the further away they are from the body. But the important thing to remember is, you don't have to understand the metaphysical nuts and bolts of spiritual healing to benefit from it's effects.

I use many levels of treatment in spiritual healing: hands-on healing, Reiki symbols, crystal therapy grids, homeopathy, colour, sound, smudging and other spiritual practises to balance mind, body and soul.

I also may invoke and invite any spiritual guides, Master healers and teachers, angelic beings, gods/goddesses that wish to be present in the temple during the time of the healing, and often, they work through me and assist me with deeper levels of healing, as I channel love and light through my body into the client's energetic body, which in turn tunes the physical body and aligns it to assist in it's own healing. ...

The room can often feel as if there are more present than just myself and the client. I assure you there is nothing to fear, as the room is energetically protected, the ground consecrated as sacred, and only the highest beings of love, light and creation are admitted to assist me with healing the client. You may have visions, or you may just zone-out and experience a deep feeling of surrender and relaxation, the only thing I ask is that you come with an open heart and mind and trust in the power of this sacred age-old technique of laying on of the hands.
De Avalon appealed against the sentence, which has now been reimposed by Judge Geoffrey Chettle. The ABC reports that she responded "I decline your offer, Your Honour". Unsurprisingly, the comment by Judge Chettle was "You decline my offer? I'm sorry, it's not negotiable." The Geelong Advertiser notes that
The court was told De Avalon displayed her remorse by asking the injured policeman if she could offer him spiritual healing and massage and could not understand why he declined her proposition.
No understanding? Presumably her spirit guides were out of sync.

Given that practitioners of the dark arts are not allowed to take their broomstick and cat into a state correctional facility I suspect that De Avalon will be out of circulation for some time. Bad news for people who want a De Avalon ceremony. She is described in the Witchvox professional directory [sic] as -
High Priestess of the Order of Avalon, Eilish De Avalon
• Authorised Civil Marriage Celebrant A6762 and initiated Pagan Priestess available for all your rites of passage.
• Handfastings
• Handpartings
• Bridal Showers including henna and belly dancing nights
• Goddess Baby Showers
• Birthing Circle rituals
• Wiccanings/Pagan naming ceremonies
• Menarche and teenage boys rites of passage to manhood
• Transexual/intersexual reclaiming of gender ceremonies
• Commitment ceremonies for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Polyamorous, Transexual & Intersexual unions
• Croning Ceremonies
• Death Bed Rituals
• Funeral Rites including pyres and viking funerals, special conditions apply.
Can't go wrong, it seems, with your own Order ... except when you put a policeman into hospital.

Similarly unpersuasive claims that the state's law does not apply were evident in Williamson v Hodgson [2010] WASC 95, an appeal over a speeding conviction.

The judgment indicates -
By a prosecution notice dated 13 January 2009 Mr Williamson was charged with driving his vehicle in excess of the speed limit contrary to r 11(3) of the Road Traffic Code 2000 (WA). The charge was heard by the learned magistrate on 23 June 2009. Mr Williamson was found guilty and fined $75 and ordered to pay costs of $114.20. The facts of the case are very simple and not in dispute. They were in fact all admitted by Mr Williamson at the hearing. On 17 February 2008 Mr Williamson was driving his vehicle on a road in Glen Forrest. A radar device recorded the vehicle travelling at 89 km per hour in an 80 km per hour speed zone. Despite these admissions Mr Williamson maintained he was not guilty of the offence.
It goes on to note
Mr Williamson submitted that the provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1974 (WA), and I will assume the Road Traffic Code, are unlawful because, he says, they are inconsistent with the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (UN Covenant). Australia is a party to the UN Covenant but it has not been incorporated into Australian law and does not operate as a direct source of individual rights and obligations under that law.
The position is simply stated by the High Court in Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs v Teoh [1995] HCA 20; (1995) 183 CLR 273, where at 286 - 287 Mason CJ and Deane J said:
It is well established that the provisions of an international treaty to which Australia is a party do not form part of Australian law unless those provisions have been validly incorporated into our municipal law by statute. This principle has its foundation in the proposition that in our constitutional system the making and ratification of treaties fall within the province of the Executive in the exercise of its prerogative power whereas the making and the alteration of the law fall within the province of parliament, not the Executive.
So, a treaty which has not been incorporated into our municipal law cannot operate as a direct source of individual rights and obligations under that law.
Mr Williamson submitted that s 58A and s 102A of the Road Traffic Act are inconsistent with the UN Covenant. In brief terms, these sections provide that when an infringement notice is left on a vehicle, the licence holder of that vehicle, called the responsible person, is deemed responsible for that infringement notice unless he or she informs the police of the identity of the infringing driver. Moreover, a responsible person, if requested by a police officer to give information about the driver, commits an offence if that driver fails to make reasonable measures to comply with the request.
With respect, Mr Williamson's submission on this point is misconceived. First, the provisions are not inconsistent with the UN Covenant. Second, even if they were the inconsistency does not make every provision in the Road Traffic Act and the Road Traffic Code invalid. Third, Mr Williamson was not charged as a responsible person. He was identified as the driver and admitted that he was. Fourth, the UN Covenant is not in any event part of the law to be applied in the case by the learned magistrate. This submission cannot succeed. ...
Alleged secession
Mr Williamson claims to have seceded from the Commonwealth of Australia and that he is not subject to the Road Traffic Code. He said today that the UN Covenant has given him this right. With respect to Mr Williamson, this is a misinterpretation of this document.
The only lawful means by which land ceases to become a part of the state is set out in s 123 of the Commonwealth Constitution. The procedure described in this section has not been followed. Mr Williamson, or more correctly the land he has some connection with, has not lawfully seceded. Even if some part of the state to which Mr Williamson occupies had seceded, Glen Forest where Mr Williamson's driving occurred, remained part of Western Australia.
Any person whether a citizen of Western Australia or somewhere else is liable to abide by the laws of Western Australia including its road traffic laws. This ground has no merit.
Alleged invalidity of the Magistrates Court
Mr Williamson submitted today that the Magistrates Court did not have the lawful authority to try him since the passing of the Acts Amendment and Repeal (Courts and Legal Practice) Act 2003 (WA) (the Act).
Broadly speaking, the Act changed references from the Crown and Her Majesty in the statutory law of Western Australia to the State and the Governor. As I understood Mr Williamson's submissions, the Act unlawfully effects an amendment of the State Constitution as to the authority of the Crown and the Monarch. The consequence of this, he says, is that courts sitting under the name of the State, such as the Magistrates Court, are invalid and their decisions are also invalid.
This submission has been put to and comprehensively rejected by the Court of Appeal on several occasions. I am bound by those decisions, but it is not simply a matter of following precedent. Those decisions are undoubtedly correct. The Act does no more than change the terminology used in many statutes. It does not and could not amend the State Constitution. Even if it unlawfully amended the State Constitution, this would not invalidate a court's powers or a court's judgment or order . As to this see Glew v Shire of Greenough [2006] WASCA 260 [16], [20]; Glew Technologies Pty Ltd v Department of Planning and Infrastructure [2007] WASCA 289; and Glew v The Governor of Western Australia [2009] WASC 14. This submission has no merit.
Alleged invalidity of prosecuting entity
Another submission made today in the course of argument was that the entity who issued Mr Williamson with the infringement notice had an Australian business number or ABN. Mr Williamson submitted that he was therefore being prosecuted by a corporation and not the police.
A person or entity does not become a corporation because that person or entity has an ABN. An ABN is required for any organisation or individual who carries on an enterprise with a GST turnover above a certain sum. Further, anyone who wishes to claim GST credits or fuel tax credits needs an ABN.
An ABN holder may be an individual, a corporation, a partnership or government entity. It is not necessary that the entity be engaged in a profit-making venture. It is irrelevant to the validity of the infringement notice or any subsequent prosecution that the entity who issued the infringement notice had an ABN. In any event Mr Williamson was not dealt with under the infringement notice provisions of the Road Traffic Act. He was dealt with in Court. The prosecution was initiated by a police officer, a person who had the relevant authority to prosecute Mr Williamson. This ground has no merit.
Overall, nice try but no cigar.