Principality of Hutt River Province
It is impossible not to be sensitive to this fight of David against Goliath, fight led at the same time with tenacity, guile and discernment by Prince Leonard since more 38 years, now.
In 1969, a farmer from Western Australia, Sir Leonard George CASLEY opposed himself for the first time to his administration of custody.
Owner of an important farm, Sir Leonard CASLEY was dictated absurd quotas of wheat production, which could only lead him to ruin, he, his company and all his staff.
Having tried, in vain, to convince the competent administration to go back on its decision, he proposed the dispute to be settled by an arbitrage, and then that the estimated losses would make the object of a financial or a land compensation. None of these proposals obtained satisfactory answer. The Australian administration even threatened the refractory farmer to seize a part of his lands.
On April 21, 1970, when all possible means were exhausted and the two protagonists pushed in the most profound impasse, Sir Leonard CASLEY sends to Sir David BRAND Prime Minister of Western Australia, the announcement of an act of secession based on a document called "Fait Accompli ".
On April 23, 1970, Governor Sir Douglas KENDREW, received announcement of the act of secession from Sir Leonard CASLEY, through the Lieutenant-colonel John BURT, his «Official Secretary «at the Palace of the Governor in Perth.
This announcement specified that the "Fait Accompli" allowed the authority concerned to establish borders, without injuring the interests of the Government of Western Australia.
" The Governor, Sir Douglas KENDREW, immediately in writing called for e meeting in Government House of Perth, to discuss the secession. The Governor Sir Douglas KENDREW instructed his secretary the Lieutenant Colonel John BURT to hold the meeting".
The next day of April 24, 1970, Lieutenant Colonel John BURT acknowledges receipt of this courier and suggests Sir Leonard CASLEY to meeting him on the 29th of the same month in the Palace of the Government.
During this meeting, Lieutenant Colonel John BURT informed Sir Leonard CASLEY about the position of the Government, stating: “not to do anything and not to react on the statement of secession”.
The same day, Sir Leonard CASLEY sends to his interlocutor, the following letter of confirmation:
" I thank you for the pleasant conversation we had further to your invitation of April 24 which also acknowledged receipt of my courier dated April 23 to which was joined the formal announcement of the Act of secession of April 21, 1970. I confirm by the present the statement of your Department concerning the secession and I quote you writing “We do not make anything for this subject ".
The Government of Western Australia was only authorized legally to dispute the Act of secession; it should have charged Sir Leonard CASLEY for infringement on the integrity of the territory in application of the capacities of the Section 39 of the Penal code of the State.
Now, by choosing not to react, the Government of Western Australia lost all possibility of further intervention.
Indeed, the Section 39 of the Penal code mentions a maximum term of two years, as from the date to which the incriminated act is presumed to have been committed for notifying.
So, since April 21, 1972, no jurisdiction had sufficient competence to oppose Sir Leonard CASLEY in his decision of secession and creation of "The Hutt River Province ".
Two official couriers emanating from the Federal Government came to consolidate Sir Leonard CASLEY's legal position.
·On MAY 7, 1970, the office of the Prime Minister to Canberra acknowledges receipt of the Act of Secession by mentioning that the affair was falling under the only competence of The State of Western Australia.
·On MAY 18, 1970, the Governor General of Australia indicates to Sir Leonard CASLEY that, as far as the Act of Secession concerns exclusively the Constitution of The State of Western Australia, he adopted the required procedure by writing to his Excellence the Governor of Western Australia.
It did not seem any more possible for the Governor General to interfere in an affair relieving from the constitution of Western Australia, because the Commonwealth of Australia had actually ceded the territory of "HUTT REIVER PROVINCE", in accordance with standard protocol.
Given the nature of the couriers sent to him, one could deduct that from this moment, Sir Leonard CASLEY should be considered as the entitled Administrator of "The Hutt River Province ".
Initially, it was never question to establish the new State, as a Principality.
Only several months after the secession and in the light of new worrisome events, this Status was adopted.
Indeed, after a first period of relative quietness, the small rising State was faced real reasons of preoccupation with the arrival of a new Australian Prime Minister.
The new Federal Government showed its determination to gather all the resources of the Commonwealth to help the government of Western Australia to prevent the existence of the small Secessionist State.
In prey to deep anxieties Sir Leonard CASLEY, assisted by his councillors, resumed his legal searches to build a more solid legal position for the Hutt River Province and protect its citizens.
At the moment these events occurred, the two statutory years of prescription were not yet passed.
Sir Leonard CASLEY could expect anything coming from the Australian
As legal shield against any Australian "offensive", he brandished a very ancient but not null and void Law, "The Imperial Treasons Act» which indicates that every person who provides assistance to a Prince "de facto" in the exercise of his functions cannot be accused of treason.
On the other hand, this Law also clarifies the fact that any person who would strike a blow at a Prince "de facto" in the exercise of his functions could be, charged for treason. That’s how The Hutt River Province became a Principality and Sir Leonard CASLEY, the Prince Leonard.
The strategy succeeds beyond all the expectations. The mediatisation which surrounded the creation of the new Principality was considerable and discouraged the Government of Western Australia to engage any further legal battle.
It was observed that the reference to “The Imperial Treasons Act” was unusual but relevant and that the secession of the small State did not question its allegiance to the Queen Elisabeth
Fine strategist, this patient and peaceful Prince, decided that he had enough of the pressures and harassments from the Administration and abruptly declared war to Australia.
The geographic situation of the Principality of Hutt River Province, distant of less than 70 km from Geralton's military base, was making the challenge hazardous.
A simple police action would have been enough to put an end to the extraordinary adventure of the CASLEY Family, and to some other families witch followed him.
Nevertheless, on December 2, 1977, the Principality declared very officially war to the powerful Australia. The Australian Authorities ignored magnificently what they took for a bragging.
On the other hand, the Press, more attentive and maybe more amused, once again marked its sympathy for the small Principality.
Some days later, Prince Leonard notified the Governor General of Australia on the cessation of "hostilities".
The Principality overcame the conflict with Australia, what was quite interesting on the legal point of view.
Indeed, international law stipulates that sovereignty is automatically acquired for a country which gets out of a conflict unhurt.
Proof was given that by behaving as a separate state, the Principality of Hutt River Province asserted its capacities for independence.
Even though war had been won without an army, the Prince henceforth felt the need to possess one.
The Defense forces of the Principality henceforth count different officers from the army, the navy and the air force which mostly insure tasks of representation and participate in the organization of numerous commemorative events and charities.
With years, the economy of the Principality of Hutt River Province evolved.
Even though agriculture remains the economic foundation of the Principality, curiosity generated by the unusual adventure of the CASLEY, generated appreciable tourism and related incomes.
From the beginning of the epic, the Principality of Hutt River Province edited its own bank notes, its coins, its postage stamps and its passports. Orders of chivalry were created.
Principality today develops services.
Thirty six years after Sir Leonard CASLEY's successful secession, the position of the Principality of Hutt River Province toward the international community can not be questioned any more.
Henceforth, the Principality of Hutt River Province has leaved its status of "Etat de fait” for the status of "Etat de droit".
But a last bridge remains to cross: financing and registration to all UN organisms and the UN membership.
If the Principality’s territory is rather vast and its government is very real and active, its resident population does not exceed thousand souls.
This weakness is however compensated with an important non-resident population, around 20.000 citizens benefiting from the double nationality and living mostly in their country of origin.
To attract new residents and to reassure potential foreign investors, the Principality implemented a big constitutional and legislative framework.
To «Bill of Rights " voted in 1971, followed of different Acts or laws and Royal decrees, came to add an new Constitution on October 1st, 2005.
Today, the Principality has a legislative and statutory corpus including, among others, a "Diplomatic Protocol Act ", a "Nationality Act ", a "Lands Act", a «Peerage Act ", an «International Banking Act", a «I.B.C. act ", and a «Taxes Act" .
Besides, the Australian State does not perceive income tax, or any other tax from Prince Leonard’s subjects residing or working in the Principality. For the incomes of the subjects of the PRINCE LÉONARD which work in the Commonwealth of Australia they are taxed as not resident in the Commonwealth of Australia. (Cf.: Australian Taxation 0ffice)
Principality of Hutt River, exclusively assures, with its Citizens, the internal security of the territory. . Four “Rangers" are placed under the authority of a Police officer, and Justice is dispensed by a local Court.
For several years, now the Principality mail stamps are being exclusively used for all mailings from the Principality, treated then in the nearby city of Northampton.
Even though the "Prince" is still considered by some as “an old eccentric farmer", he is received by the political leaders in Canberra, with all the consideration due to his position.
A contents of the following document, internal to the Australian Administration,
enlightens well the situation:
DEPARTMENT OF TERRITORIES CAMBERRA
The fact that the Commonwealth has not formally recognized the Principality is a muta point, as the residents of the area do, and there has been now, and in the past a legal uncertainty as to the constitutional aspects of the case.
It is therefore our considered opinion, that subject to guidelines we have had to adopt, the following points are in fact the situation currently
1. Principality is a legal entity.
2.Prince Leonard of Hutt River Province is a person exempted in the Australian Law from Taxation under the current guidelines.
3.The Passport as used by the persons claiming to be Principality Citizens are valid. However, the Act can be used to isolate them by requirement of visa’s.
4. Nothing, in any legislation currently, would preclude recognition of these facts ever saw the light of day.
It is therefore our suggestion that you at all costs contain this situation. The Department would at your request therefore institute the required action..
As summarized a bit brutally by the Australian Lawyer Anthony FISHER "This damned place had really seceded and we are talking about a true independent country ".
Prince Leonard, who is now old, but with an assured descent, would doubtless wish to see his country benefiting from a status equivalent to Monaco’s or the Bahamas Islands, to the eyes of the international Community.
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