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Some people who know of the battle I am having send me letters from time to time. One enclosed a small booklet entitled "Gentlemen of the Jury" which told the story of William Penn in the seventeenth century who was charged with preaching Quakerism in defiance of a then-current law. The jury defused to find him guilty because they believed the law was a bad law. The judges imprisoned the jury and made them suffer physical deprivation for months. But the jury still refused to change their verdict. In the end, the jury won and William Penn was released and the King granted him land in the American colonies where he established the state of Pennsylvania.

Another letter contained a photocopy of another small booklet entitled the "Jury Power Information Kit" put out by an organization in America called the Fully Informed Jury Association.

I must apologize for not being able to recall the names of those kind people but these booklets I kept and about midway through 1998 I got them out and decided to "surf the Internet" for trial by jury and came up with "An Essay on the Trial by Jury" by Lysander Spooner, 1852 at the website of www.geocities.com/Heartland/7394/lysander.htmll which is the most wonderful article and, as I later found out, is the basis for the philosophy of FIJA.

Again, on the Internet I found the website for FIJA which gave postal and email addresses for their founder, Larry Dodge. In November of 98 they were holding their get-together in Dallas, Texas which they called JIFACON IV. After corresponding with Larry and his No. 1 helper, Kathy Ballard, I asked permission to attend the Convention and they graciously consented.

I flew out of Sydney at 5.25pm on the 5th of November to arrive in Dallas at 7.26pm the same day, having crossed the International Date Line. The convention was held at the Holiday Inn in Bedford, not far from the airport.

Those three days were stimulating and encouraging. The speakers were of the highest calibre and many were published authorities in their fields of law. Everyone had the same passion for justice and preserving the rights of the American people. They knew that the threat of tyranny was very real and strategy to fight it was laid down in their Constitution, their Declaration of Independence and their Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, their Constitution and Bill of Rights can be changed by their governments. This is quite different to the situation in Australia where our Constitution can only be changed by a referendum of the people and legislation such as our Magna Carta 1297 and Bill of Rights 1688 are there "for evermore" and cannot be altered by any means.

However, our politicians would have you believe otherwise in respect to our rights under Magna Carta and Bill of Rights which they say can be "displaced by State and Federal legislation". Our politicians are as treacherous as our judges which all goes to focusing on the words of Lysander Spooner and other freedom fighters who promote the role of juries as our last safeguard to defeat bad laws intended to oppress us and strip us of our common wealth.

The tapes of the Dallas convention (along with posters, videos, etc. for FIJA, generally) can all be acquired through the website of www.fija%20org/orderfrm.html

At the dinner on the Saturday night Larry Dodge presented plaques and certificates of appreciation to numerous recipients who were playing an active role to their organization. I was surprised and delighted when he called me up to accept a certificate saying that I was their "Man in Australia" and a beautiful Lysander Spooner medallion in a purple case.

All through the three days the pace never slackened and the spirit never diminished. Professors, attorneys, legislators and (what they call) activists delivered their talks and discussions at coffee breaks and luncheons all focused on the issues which had brought them there.

In Australia, we have a coming together of freedom fighters called the Inverell Forum every March when that percentage of the population who not only know that great and many injustices are being done to the country but want to do something to put it back the way it is supposed to be with a harmonious and prosperous community.

The enemies of the people are right here in amongst us and they are the bankers, politicians and judges. Subjugation (or the enslavement) of Australia is a sinister and insidious campaign with the electronic and print media very much involved in keeping the truth from being known.

Many bad laws, ie: laws contrary to the best interests of the people, are being implemented one after the other while the media try to brainwash us. One could go on for volumes, eg: multiculturalism, antiprotectionism, etc., etc.. The politicians have even taken away our right to free elections which is guarantied by the Bill of Rights and the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights. How have they done this? By day of the Elections and Referendum Act which now has an Amendment which says that unless the voter numbers every square on the ballot paper, in what is now a "compulsory preferential system", the ballot paper will "be set aside from the count", ie: discarded. This means that the voter is forced to vote for and the vote will go to a candidate whom the voter does not want to receive his or her vote. That is not a free election and the 1998 Federal Election is completely illegal. However, any challenge in the courts would be dismissed by a judiciary which is completely corrupt and treacherous.

How can they hold the Olympic Games in Sydney in the year 2000 when Australia is a country where the government has denied its people the right to free elections?

I wrote to the Governor-General, Sir William Deane, before the 1998 Federal Elections asking him to intervene in this appalling situation but have never had a reply. Sir William Deane was a Justice of the High Court before being nominated by the Prime Minister who was, at that time Mr. Paul Keating who still campaigns to overthrow the Constitution of the Commonwealth, which is an offence called Treachery carrying the "Penalty (of): Imprisonment for life" (s 24AA Crimes Act 1914) because:

(a) the Constitution Act says, in the first paragraph that "the people ...... have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown ... and under the Constitution hereby established",
(b) "under" means "governed by, bound by, controlled by",
(c) "indissoluble" means "indissoluble", therefore
(d) the only way to abolish the Crown from the Commonwealth of Australia is to repeal the entirity of the Constitution Act which cancels the Australian Constitution. Our forefathers were smart fellows and anticipated such acts of treachery as people like Paul Keating and Malcolm Turnbull, with their Republican schemes, are trying to pull on us. In fact, words in "God Save the Queen" say "Confound their politics. Frustrate their knavish tricks.". All Australians aren't the fools they think we are .... but, if there is a referendum on abolishing the Crown, the question is "Will there be enough fools to fall for their lies?".

Our only hope of restoring democracy is by way of the juries because, as Lysander Spooner summarized it in his essay that here are five tribunals to veto bad laws which are: "representatives, senate, executive, jury, and judges". In Australia we have the same situation with (1). the House of Representatives, (2). the Senate, (3) . the Governor-General (executive), (4). jury, and (5). judges. With the exception of the jury, those tribunals have become the instruments of corruption and tools of oppression.

Lysander Spooner begins his essay with these words:
"For more than six hundred years - that is, since Magna Carta, in 1215 -- there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law, than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge the justice of the law, and hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating, or resisting the execution of, such law.".

A jury must be fully informed of what their role is. They can not be compelled to obey any directions or orders issued by a judge. they must vote according to their conscience. This concept is not original to America but has its roots firmly in English law and history.

Being "Fully Informed" means just that. The jury must be told of their responsibilities and that they can ask questions of anyone at any time; that they can call for evidence which they think they might require; and they must be told of the possible sentence or penalty which may be imposed on the accused if they find him or her or them guilty.

The Americans are more vocal and active in their participation in their politics and their expressing of what they believe to be truth and justice. FIJA is conducting lobbying throughout the United States for legislation requiring juries to be fully and properly instructed once they are impanelled. They have declare a Lysander Spooner Day to commemorate the William Penn verdict on the 5th of September which, coincidentally and quite unknown to me, was the day of the paint incident in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Queens Square, Sydney.

One of FIJA's leaflets says: Our third president, Thomas Jefferson, put it like this: "I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution."'. Another quote FIJA uses is from their D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, 1972, which "held that the jury has an "..unreviewable and irreversible power .. to acquit in disregard to the instruction on the law given by the trial judge. The pages of history shine upon instances of the jury's exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge, for example, acquittals under the fugitive slave law." (473 F. 2d 1113)".

FIJA proudly point to that time in history when juries were directly involved in the circumstances which led to the American War of Independence. The story goes that England was imposing a tax on goods imported into the colony from other countries but many merchants were not paying the tax and they were charged and put on trial but the juries refused to convict them because the colonists did not want to pay the tax to England especially when they had no representation in the British Parliament. The English then tried to transport the "smugglers" back to England for trial and that is when the hostilities really began "and the rest is history".

Ironically, Australians have a more direct claim on English common law and the system of jury power because our Constitution is actually part of a British Act of Parliament called the Constitution Act (63 & 64 Vic.) and, as it says in the Preamble, we are "one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland".

Therefore, beware of politicians who want to sever our links with the Crown because then we would have lost all those inalienable rights and absolute power would be delivered into the hands of politicians who are the mere puppets of the banks and the multinational corporations whose ambitions are all too obvious.

FIJA is the voice of the people in America and we would do well to learn from them and demand our rights as they are doing.

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