1 HIS HONOUR: By an amended summons filed in this Court, the plaintiff, Losalina Rainima, appeals against her conviction in the Local Court of an offence of disqualified driving and against the sentence imposed. She invokes s52 of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001, which provides for an appeal against such a conviction or sentence on a ground which involves a question of law alone. She also seeks leave to appeal against an interlocutory order made by the magistrate. Provision for that leave is to be found in s53(3)(b) of the Act but, again, only on a ground that involves a question of law alone.
2 She has joined as defendants the learned magistrate, the Director of Public Prosecutions “as agent” for the two police officers involved in her case, and the New South Wales Attorney General. It will soon be apparent why the Attorney General was joined, and he was represented before me by Mr El-Hage, solicitor advocate for the State Crown Solicitor. Both the magistrate and the Director have entered submitting appearances. The informant, rather than the Director, should have been joined as the Director did not conduct the prosecution. However, it appears to me that nothing turns on this. A complete response to the arguments put in support of the appeal was presented by the submissions of Mr El-Hage on behalf of the Attorney.
3 The plaintiff prepared the amended summons without legal representation, but with the assistance of members of a group named UPMART, of which she herself is a member. Nor was she legally represented at the hearing but I granted leave to two members of the group, Ms Hancock and Mr McClure, to present her case for her. In his written submissions Mr El-Hage explained the name UPMART as an acronym for “United People’s Movement Against Road Taxes”. Ms Hancock denied that it was an acronym but declined to say what it meant. The matter is of passing interest only, and nothing turns on it.
4 It seems that the group holds strong views about the legitimacy of aspects of this State’s traffic legislation. Certainly, the plaintiff does. Whatever the views of the group might be, this appeal turns upon the attitude of the plaintiff as it was articulated by her in the Local Court and, through her representatives, in this Court. Put shortly, as it relates to the present case, it is that the State is under a duty not to impose upon her its driver licensing regime.
5 The strength of her belief has cost her dearly, leading to her remaining in custody for the period from her arrest for disqualified driving on 15 December 2007 to 14 September 2008, just two days hence. She was granted conditional bail, but refused to enter it. On 3 March 2008, after a defended hearing, she was convicted of the offence, fined, disqualified from holding a license for a further period, and placed on a five year good behaviour bond. She refused to enter the bond. Later that day, pursuant to s97 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999, she was sentenced to imprisonment for nine months, with a non-parole period of three months, to date from 15 December 2007. When the non-parole period expired she could not be released because she refused to accept the conditions of parole. Accordingly, she can be released only on the expiry of the nine month sentence.
6 On an earlier occasion, when the matter was in for mention in the Local Court, the plaintiff foreshadowed that she would be raising a constitutional defence and a challenge to the jurisdiction of the court. She subsequently arranged for the service of a notice, pursuant to s78B of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth), that the case involved matters arising under the Commonwealth Constitution or involving its interpretation. It was this step which brought the Attorney General into the proceedings, intervening under s78A of the Act. In the Local Court the Attorney was also represented by Mr El-Hage.
7 The s78B notice is an extremely lengthy and, at times, obscure document, which it is not necessary to summarise. It is sufficient to say that it asserts certain basic rights of the plaintiff, such as her right of passage (by which she appears to mean her freedom of movement) and her right to privacy. These are said to be infringed by statutory requirements for the licensing of drivers and the registration of motor vehicles. She also asserts the right to engage in peaceful political protest, in particular, a right “to protest against, and not to submit to, any imposition on my individual sovereignty…”. In one part of the document she says that she does not claim that the relevant legislation infringes a constitutional right, asserting that her vehicle was registered and, relevantly, that she possessed a licence, “pursuant to common law”.
8 She pursued the matter at the hearing on 3 March 2008, putting her case herself without the assistance of any member of UPMART. There she appealed to divine law, quoting passages from the bible. Among other things, she said:
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF NEW SOUTH WALES
COMMON LAW DIVISION
Friday 12 September 2008
2008/11084 Losalini Rainima v Magistrate Freund & Ors
9 Not surprisingly, the magistrate rejected this challenge to the legislation. In so doing, her Honour referred to a decision of the Chief Judge of the District Court, Blanch J, in an appeal to that court by the plaintiff against her conviction on an earlier occasion of a number of summary offences, including driving an uninsured and unregistered motor vehicle: The Appeal of Losalini Rainima (unreported, 15 May 2006). His Honour rejected arguments by the plaintiff broadly similar to those expounded in the s78B notice in the present case. Her Honour also referred to Spajic v Robertson  NSWSC 553, in which Grove J rejected what appear to have been similar arguments mounted by another member of UPMART.
10 This is the interlocutory order against which the plaintiff seeks leave to appeal under s53(3)(b) of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act. She made a number of complaints about the manner in which this aspect of the matter was dealt with by her Honour. Broadly speaking, the effect of those complaints is that she was not given an adequate opportunity to be heard and that her Honour was biased against her. One of her complaints was that, unlike in the proceedings before me, she was not given leave to be represented by a “McKenzie friend”.
11 Whether that leave was given was very much a matter in her Honour’s discretion and, generally, I do not find her other complaints to be substantiated in my reading of the Local Court transcript. However, I find it unnecessary to express any concluded view about these complaints because, in any event, the arguments which the plaintiff advanced are entirely without substance and were doomed to fail
12 It was the same arguments which were relied upon in answer to the charge, there being no issue that the plaintiff was driving on the relevant occasion while her licence was disqualified. It is those arguments which have been agitated yet again in support of the application for leave to appeal against her Honour’s interlocutory order, and in the appeal against conviction and sentence under s52 of the Act. I have been prepared to treat these arguments as raising a matter of law, for the purpose of the relevant provisions of the Act. Mr El-Hage, sensibly, made no submission to the contrary.
13 A lengthy written submission by the plaintiff was furnished which, again, it is not necessary to summarise. The focus of the oral arguments by Ms Hancock and Mr McClure was what was said to be the plaintiff’s God given right of passage, a right which the State had a duty to uphold. Legislative recognition of divine authority was said to be inherent in the reference to God in the preamble to the Constitution and the ritual of opening prayers at each parliamentary session.
14 Mr El-Hage’s submissions, both in the Local Court and in this Court, were directed to defending the validity of the driver licensing legislation. According to Ms Hancock and Mr McClure, this misconceives the plaintiff’s position. A similar misconception of the arguments advanced is said to have infected the decision of Blanch J in the appeal to which I have referred, and of Grove J in Spajic v Robertson.
15 Mr McClure put it this way:
Christ has redeemed me from these laws. I am of good mind and good intent. There is no law to which I need to answer in this case; …
I have wronged no man or woman. I have …not wronged almighty God. I have a clear conscience. …
I am an ambassador of God. …
God has given me a right that is given to me, it’s within me. … I have a right of passage. I have a right of movement. All living things are given graces; the birds fly, the fish swim, the kangaroo hops, and I’ve been given the graces to drive.
16 As I understand it, a distinction is sought to be made between a challenge to the validity of the relevant legislation, on the one hand, and an assertion that the State does not have the power to deny an inalienable right, on the other. For the purpose of this case, however, the distinction is illusory. Either the driver licensing legislation is valid or it is not. If it is, all of us, including the plaintiff, are bound by it and no inalienable right resides within any of us to free us from the obligations which it imposes. Driver licensing is governed entirely by statute, and there is no such thing as a licence “pursuant to common law”. No credible challenge has been mounted to the legislation and there the matter must end.
17 Leave to appeal against the magistrate’s interlocutory order is refused. The appeal against the conviction and sentence is dismissed. If necessary, I shall hear the parties on costs.
18 I would remind the plaintiff that, notwithstanding the fact that she has served her prison term rather than entering into the good behaviour bond, she remains subject to the period of disqualification of her licence pronounced by her Honour. That period now extends to 19 May 2023. She must be in no doubt that, if she drives a motor vehicle during that period, she could face a further significant term of imprisonment.
We are saying there is a duty on the State to acknowledge the right that is vested with Ms Rainima which arises pursuant to the original jurisdiction that exists within Ms Rainima as a flesh and blood human being. At no time have we ever cast doubt on the State’s competency to legislate. …
Ms Hancock said:
The natural law rights arising from the blessing of almighty God are simple. The free right of passage is a simple right. The State consistently complicates the right, makes it more complicated than what it is supposed to be. Does the State have original jurisdiction to turn an inalienable right into a privilege?
… the prosecution and the Attorney general have failed to prove that the State is with authority and jurisdiction to deny her inalienable right.