The Queensland Supreme Court was challenged again in May by a litigant who for the past 40 years has been petitioning Australian courts to permit a rehearing of his already rejected argument, that the Australian banknotes are not legal tender because gold and silver coins are the only currency referred to in the Magna Carta.

Alan Skyring also contended for the invalidity of the Australia Act of 1986 passed by the Australian and UK Parliament to end the power of the UK to legislate with effect in Australia.

According to some reports, there are more than 50 sets of proceedings that have been commenced by Skyring (and rejected) and the list is growing.

The costs orders which he collected along the way have resulted in his bankruptcy.

Having been declared a “vexatious litigant” by Queensland’s Justice Margaret White in April 1995, he is no longer entitled to issue legal proceedings in the sate without leave of the court.

The Vexatious Proceedings Act 2005 defines a “vexatious proceeding” to include a proceeding brought without merit or prospect of success.

Separate applications for similar relief have already been before the court on three earlier occasions in 2014 alone.

His latest “Quixotic” application came before Justice Martin Daubney who observed that his novel arguments were finally determined by the High Court of Australia in 1985 and Queensland Court of Appeal as recently as 2009.

His Honour ruled that the new action proposed was clearly vexatious and that by reason of the Act the court was required to dismiss his application for leave that a new claim could be commenced.

Skyring has nevertheless created a legacy. His arguments have been elevated by pub-talk to urban myths such that the incidence of the same non-sensical contentions being raised in court by other self-represented debtors, is on the rise.

Skyring v Cooper & Anor [2014] QSC 103 Daubney J 21/05/2014


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