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Jun 03

Wacko Ted

Theodore Rout, of High Court Fame, has a personal web site. As expected, it’s non-sensical.

This post has 5 comments

1.  saundo

But Stu, maybe he’s on to something? Perhaps he has the answers to the great mysteries of the universe!

2.  Pete

Now, I have proven everything is on nothing so if everything is on nothing and you multiply it by zero, then the entire universe and the world does not exist. I have proven it conclusively.

Sounds amazing. Did you guys come across him in Law? I have never heard of the guy. Fascinating. How did he get to the High Court?

3.  Stu

Yeah, he’s a true blue looney. It is a mystery how he managed to obtain 20 minutes of the High Court’s time – I have a feeling that the judges just thought: “This guy’s crazy, I’ll just pass him up the chain and let a superior deal with him…” (not unlike IT support… if in doubt, escalate).

4.  s

Well, if you really *really* want to know why…

The High Court is set up by the Constitution and derives its primary functions from it, but Section 76 of the Constitution allows parliament to confer additional powers (jurisdiction) on the Court in its “original jurisdiction” – which means you can go straight to the High Court with a legal action without going through a process of appeals in lower courts.

Following this provision, the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 has a section which allows people to challenge the validity of election results, etc. in a court. Section 354 of this Act says that the appropriate court is the High Court, sitting as “the Court of Disputed Returns” in its original jurisdiction.

Thus our favourite Mr Rout decided to challenge the election of Bob McMullan (Labor MP for Fraser, ACT and shadow treasurer) in the 2001 federal elections and went straight to the High Court to do so. The original decision was made by the Chief Justice – Murray Gleeson, who dismissed his application (I wonder why?). The wacko decided to appeal against this decision so he could establish history with his theories of multiplying by zero and other fascinating conspiracy theories (far more interesting than most other cases in the High Court, that’s for sure).

However, the High Court has a “special leave” procedure for appeals – which means that one or two judges will give the applicant 20 minutes to try and convince the court to listen to their appeal at a separate hearing – since they will only do so if there’s a contentious or novel legal issue to be settled. This special leave application by Rout is what was transcribed – and the Australian legal system is much more interesting with his contribution :)

Did I answer your question? :)

5.  Stu

Court of Disputed Returns… hmm yes I remember a mention of that in Sue v Hill over a conflict of jurisdiction between parliament’s and the Courts’ ability to resolve electoral issues. Ah well, I handed in my public law take home today. Perhaps I’ll be able to use the info above in a Fed Con essay some time next year :)

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