The Sovereign Nation of Shetland

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.........The Sovereign Nation of Shetland
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VIKING ENERGY

This is a bit long, but worth the effort, I hope.

Stage 1, the court challenge:

I have been against the Viking Energy project from the start, but this is not the place to get into the pros and cons of a massive wind farm development. The anti wind farm group, Sustainable Shetland, won a court case to have the development stopped on the grounds that it contravened an EU birds directive to protect the whimbrel, of which a large proportion of its population is in Shetland. The Scottish goverment and Viking Energy appealed and won their appeal. At that time I suggested to Sustainable Shetland that they challenge the jurisdiction of the court on the basis that Shetland is not part of Scotland, but my suggestion was rejected.

Sustainable Shetland decided to appeal to the Supreme Court in London and I elected to get involved at this point. I enquired from the court what was the process for me to put in a challenge to the court's jurisdiction and was told the protocol:

  1. Fill in Form 2 and send to the parties to get their permission to intervene.
  2. Send the form, with collected permissions, to the court with a cheque for 800 and ask the court for permission to intervene.
The case was on an accellerated timescale and I was fairly sure that none of the parties (and certainly not the court) would welcome my intervention, so it seemed to me a remote possibility that I would be able to accomplish all this within the 3 weeks available before the case. Also, I had an experience with the Lerwick Sheriff Court where I paid 80 to ask permission for something, it was refused and that was the end of my 80. I could see the same happening again.

With jurisdiction there are 3 considerations:

  1. If challenged, the court must hear evidence of its jurisdiction before proceeding. If it does not, it is a court without jurisiction purporting to exercise it.
  2. The court must hear proof from the party bringing the case.
  3. If it does not hear proof of its jurisdiction, all proceedings are void

I knew that none of the parties could confer jurisdiction on the court if that jurisdiction did not already exist, so it seemed to me that Form 2 was inappropriate at best. Instead, I decided to cut through all that and send the court a Notice of No Jurisdiction. The Notice contains all the legal authorities for my statements.

I sent it first by email on 4 December (hearing was on 18 December), explaining that Form 2 would take too long. This was the reply:

Dear Mr Hill,
Formal applications MUST be served and filed by using the Court's Form 2!
Yours sincerely,
Nigel Macarthur

The first version was a bit rushed, so I revised it and sent again on 9 December:

Dear Mr. Macarthur,
This is not an application, it is a notice. Please find attached revised version to replace the first version I sent last week. Please confirm this will be placed on file for the case.
Hard copy follows.
Regards,
Stuart Hill.

Note I am asking for the notice to be placed on the case file.

Reply the same day:

Dear Mr Hill,
Interveners and parties are two completely separate entities with regard to an appeal.
Yours sincerely,
Nigel Macarthur

No mention of confirmation of it being put on the file.

Next day I write (a little more formally):

Dear Mr. Macarthur,
I will wish to become an intervener at a hearing on jurisdiction, which must precede the main hearing. Kindly advise me of the date of such a hearing. Presently I am content to notify the court that it has no jurisdiction until it hears proof that Shetland is part of Scotland. Whether I am an intervener or a party is irrelevant at this stage. I am bringing to the attention of the court information that fundamentally affects its jurisdiction in this case. My standing in this particular case does not reduce the effect of that information. Either the court has jurisdiction, or it does not. Having been shown it to be in doubt, it must hear proof before it can proceed and it is up to the party bringing the case to show the court it has jurisdiction.
I do not believe it is within your remit to prevent my notice from reaching the attention of the court. Kindly confirm that my documents will be placed on the file.
Regards,
Stuart Hill, a man, sovereign and procurator in rem suam.

Reply next day (10 December):

Dear Mr Hill,
Whatever your submissions, they must be filed in hard copy.
I am afraid that any reasons why you may feel that the Shetlands are not part of Scotland remain obscure to me at present.
Yours sincerely,
Nigel Macarthur

Still no confirmation that the documents will be placed on the case file. The reluctance is palpable.

I write back:

Dear Mr. Macarthur,
My documents are on their way and will arrive with you tomorrow so long as Royal Mail keeps its promise.
You are not alone in being obscure about the reasons why Shetland is not part of Scotland - it is a long and well-nurtured presumtion, but a presumption nonetheless. If you are interested, all is explained in my book Stolen Isles (www.stolenisles.com). However, with the greatest respect, that is not a matter for you to decide.
Will you please confirm that my documents, when they arrive, will be placed on the file?
For your convenience I have put the body of the Notice (without the authorities) below. You can see the whole Notice if you open the file prefixed with number 1 on my attachments sent previously. You will understand that this is not a frivolous matter and that it has serious implications.
Regards,
Stuart Hill, a man, sovereign and procurator in rem suam

Next morning, having checked delivery, I wrote:

Dear Mr. Macarthur,
You received my documents this morning. Please confirm they will be placed on the case file.
Regards,
Stuart Hill, a man, sovereign and procurator in rem suam.

Note that I am asking for confirmation they will be placed on the case file.

Next day (12 December) - there seems to have been some head scratching going on:

Dear Mr Hill,
We have indeed received your documents.
Yours sincerely,
Nigel Macarthur

I write back the same day - note that once again I'm asking for confirmation it's on the case file:

Dear Mr. Macarthur,
Please confirm they have been placed on the case file.
Regards,
Stuart Hill, a man, sovereign and procurator in rem suam.

More head scratching before this reply 3 days later (15 December)

Dear Mr Hill,
I believe they have been placed on the file.
Yours sincerely,
Nigel Macarthur

You could sense fingers being crossed behind backs!

I write:

Dear Mr. Macarthur,
While I appreciate your belief, could you please confirm that my documents are on the file.
Regards,
Stuart Hill, a man, sovereign and procurator in rem suam.

This time I neglected to specify the case file, which left a chink. Finally, three days before the hearing:

Dear Mr Hill,
Your papers are indeed on the file.
Yours sincerely,
Nigel Macarthur

It had taken six days to get the answer to a simple question, but was the answer as simple as the question?

Having been so persistent, I think I could be forgiven for assuming that my documents had been placed on the case file that the judges see - but then again I could be wrong - and I was.

Due to the magnificent support of friends, members and well-wishers I was able to fly down to London and attend the court. Arriving early, I sat in the front bench in the expectation that, as required by law, my challenge to jurisdiction would precipitate a hearing to decide the matter before the main hearing. Until they hear proof of their jurisdiction from the party bringing the case to the court the judges would have no more authority than the man in the street.

The registrar, Louise di Mambro, soon arrived to let me know that I had to sit in the public gallery because I had not filled in paperwork to become an intervener. It must have come as some surprise that I was there because she let slip that she had already told the judges of my presence, so there was evidently some consternation.

It then emerged that there were two files and that my documents (which she referred to as 'bits of paper') were on the 'court record' and not the case file, which the judges see. I managed to get her to reluctantly agree to put them in front of the judges before the hearing. She said she may not be able to interrupt their meeting (although she had been able to interrupt them to let them know I was there!). Had I not been there the judges would not (officially) have been aware of them. She later confirmed in writing that she had given them copies. The Notice, with its supporting documents is about half an inch thick, so I am at a loss to know how she could have made five copies in the short time available before the hearing, but I must take her word for it.

Because of my intervention, neither the judges, nor the wider court could say they were not aware of my Notice. My 'bits of paper' were apparently sufficiently competent not to be simply ignored.

It was not entirely to my surprise that the hearing started as if nothing had happened, having had experience of Scottish judges break the law and their own rules in order to avoid facing the issue, but I have to say I expected better from the highest court in the land.

I could now only draw two conclusions:

  1. The registrar was being miserly with the truth when she told me she had put my papers in front of the judges before the hearing, OR
  2. The judges had ignored my Notice and were sitting without jurisdiction - with no more authority than the man in the street.

It is a criminal offence to impersonate a judge. If they had taken that risk, it can only have been because of extreme political pressure. It should have been absolutely routine for them to simply ask the party bringing the case to show the court how it had jurisdiction, and absolutely straight forward for that party to show it - unless everybody knew it did not exist.

I went home by train and ferry (cheaper than flying, but takes 2 days, rather than a few hours). On the train I wrote an email to the registrar (opens in new window).

A couple of days later I got this reply (downloads a pdf), in which she ignores all the serious allegations I had made in my email, but does acknowledge that my papers had been passed to the judges.

with more time to reflect, I wrote this reply (opens in new window) and, in the same package, sent a Notice of Void Proceedings (Opens in new window) to the registrar and all 5 judges separately. The package arrived at the court on 2 January 2015. In the absence of any rebuttal from the Registrar or the judges, that Notice, in accordance with its terms, will be published here in full after the expiration of 21 days.

Its main allegations are:

  • that there is no proof that Shetland is part of Scotland,
  • that no court has heard any evidence that Shetland is part of Scotland,
  • that the appeal proceedings are void because of a lack of jurisdiction,
  • that the judges were purporting to exercise jurisdiction they did not have,
  • that by proceeding in the knowledge of a lack of jurisdiction, they were reckless, in contempt of court and acted fraudulently,
  • that all prior proceedings and the original permission from the Scottish government are void
  • The Notice contains all the relevant legal authorities to back these statements.

    What will the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, do to redeem itself in the face of these allegations? The Scottish judiciary have already been shown to regard themselves to be above the law. Would the Supreme Court assert its impartiality and abide by the law, or will it show itself to be subject to political pressure?

    Postscript to stage 1:

    On reflection, here's what I think could be the most likely scenario:

    Nigel Macarthur was doing what he was told. Louise di Mambro, the registrar, is his boss, so she would be telling him, first of all to get me to follow the court procedure and secondly to delay as much as possible.

    I think it is probably unlikely that she would act of her own volition to bury my documents, so she was probably doing what she was told. I think that she probably acted correctly in passing on the documents to her bosses when they arrived in the post.

    Her bosses are the judges and if she acted properly and passed them on, they must have known about them before the hearing, but were trying to make it look as if they had no knowledge.

    Most importantly, the evidence shows that the (men acting as) judges had full knowledge of my Notice from the day it arrived.

    I presume the plan was first to inveigle me into the court procedure, where they knew they could freeze me out. When that did not work, get the staff to bury the documents in a file they (the men acting as judges) did not have to look at. Nobody would ever know.

    Shame I turned up to spoil the game.

    Stage 2:

    The (men acting as) judges had shown themselves, as had the whole of the Scottish judiciary, brazenly ready to ignore the law, the legislation and their own rules in their attempts to avoid the issue. Apparently it is so politically sensitive that absolutely nobody is allowed to go there. On the day there was effectively no judge in the court However, there was still work to do. If I was right, it was necessary to make sure there was no doubt.

    With no reply to my Notice of Void Proceedings, the next was a Notice of Fault (opens in new window). This confirms that they have acted outside their authority, in contempt of court and fraudulently, as shown by their own case history. It gives them a further ten days to dispute what I say, failing which I must presume they accept it as the truth and they will not be able to deny that fact in future proceedings. These are serious charges and they need to have the best opportunity to refute them if I am wrong. The time for my Notice was due to run out on 13 February. It had been announced that the decision would be made public in mid March, so this left plenty of time to get things finalised.

    However, I got a reply from the court on 6 February making it clear that they were not going to dispute my allegations and advising me that the decision date had been brought forward to 9 February. I immediately sent a Notice of Default (opens in new window), which advises the men acting as judges that they accept the truth of my allegations. It further tells them that they will be compounding their crime if they continue to impersonate judges by publishing a decision. All it needed was for my allegations to be refuted - that would be the easy answer. I would go away, tail between legs and the whole question would be settled. Instead of which:

    On 9 February the alleged decision was proclaimed. Five men who have heard no proof of their jurisdiction after it was legitimately challenged, who accept that they were impersonating judges, acting without authority; who acted fraudulently, outside the law and legislation and in defiance of their own rules, have allegedly made a valid decision. Five self-confessed criminals who apparently regard themselves as above the law have allegedly made a decision that we are expected to accept as a legitimate document issued by the highest court in the land.

    Here is the final insult: David Edmond Neuberger a.k.a. Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and chief 'judge' on the bench that day is a prominent member of the Jewish community. I have nothing against jews personally, but here is part of their celebrations for Yom Kippur. This is the meaning of an exract from a recitation called the Kol Nidrei:
    "All vows we are likely to make, all oaths and pledges we are likely to take between this Yom Kippur and the next Yom Kippur, we publicly renounce. Let them all be relinquished and abandoned, null and void, neither firm nor established. Let our vows, pledges and oaths be considered neither vows nor pledges nor oaths." In other words, he can sit on the bench acting as a judge with no intention of honouring his oath of office.

    I will ask you to read that again and ask yourself if a man who is prepared to make such a statement is fit to hold any kind of public office, let alone that of president of the highest court in the land. I sent him a Notice of Crime (opens in new window), which includes this and the criminal allegations he has not rebutted. If there is no reply by 19 February, we will be in no doubt about the state of our democracy. The smell of corruption in high places pervades the air. Were it not so grotesque and with such serious implications, we might think we were in the company of Alice in Wonderland and five new Lewis Carroll characters.

    Of course, if I am wrong in any of what I say, I will immediately withdraw any erroneous statements and apologise unreservedly. Somehow I don't think that will be necessary.