Monday, 25 June 2018

Peter Spencer's background story Part 3 of 3

In January 2011, Peter Spencer became aware of an interesting extract from the Queensland Government Hansard which seems to show proof of collusion between the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments to use uncleared land for the Kyoto Protocol requirement.
2011 was a very promising year for Mr Spencer. He was in court several times and turned up many documents which seemed to prove that an agreement existed between the Commonwealth and the State. Access to Cabinet documents was approved by Judge Emmett with access to be granted by State and Federal governments progressively to 2nd September, 2011.
The latter part of 2011 and into 2012 was spent haggling over documents which were required to be disclosed. Many of the 3500 Commonwealth documents were redacted or refused on the grounds that they had “Cabinet privilege”.

On 26th November, 2012 three High Court judges struck down Mr. Spencer’s access to Cabinet documents which were needed to show that state and federal governments colluded to introduce land clearing legislation to lock up carbon on Australian farms so it could meet carbon targets under the Kyoto protocol without compensation.
For four years, the approach taken by the Australian Government Solicitor (for the Commonwealth) had been to deny the existence of any documents showing the existence of informal agreements between the Commonwealth and the Sates (relating to sequestration of carbon and land use change laws and measures) before and after the Kyoto meeting of the UNFCCC in 1997.
In May 2013, still in discovery hearings with Justice Cowdroy ruling that if relevant documents can be found they must be handed over. On 30th May 2013 Mr. Spencer had a productive day in court before Justice Cowdroy.
Barrister Peter King started by giving a detailed chronological account of signed international treaties, intergovernmental agreements, commonwealth/state legislation, commonwealth/state agreements and commonwealth/state committees starting with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992 and followed on citing in detail many High Court authorities with regards to the merits of the case.
Justice Cowdroy ordered that various State and Commonwealth documents be produced within eight weeks with the court able to reconvene with three days’ notice in the event that this order not be honoured.
24th November, 2014 was the start of the major hearing in the Federal Court to determine if there was a clear direction to the States by the Commonwealth.
In spite of the considerable evidence showing dialogue between the Commonwealth and the States about Carbon emissions, the Judge managed to find that an informal arrangement between the states and the Commonwealth was not proven.
Justice Mortimer handed down judgement in July 2015, rejecting Peter Spencer’s claims against the NSW and the Commonwealth Governments
To read more, this web page documents this major court case - Peter Spencer verses The Commonwealth.

Mr Spencer appealed, with a 3 day hearing starting on February 27 2017 before a Full Court of three judges of the Federal Court. Eventually decision was published on 15 February 2018 to the negative.

But Peter Spencer was not giving up, on March 20 2018 it was announced on the Support Peter Spencer & Australian Farmers Facebook page that he is taking his case all the way back to the highest court in the land - The High Court. Read more [here]

The action through the various courts beginning in 2005, looks like it has come to an end on June 21, 2018 when Peter Spencer was informed that  the application for special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia was refused with costs. 

Further reading:
'The Death of Property Rights' by Alan Moran
No just terms on 'acquisition' with quotes from Murdoch University law lecturer Lorraine Finlay. 

Peter Spencer's background story Part 1 of 3

Peter Spencer's background story Part 2 of 3

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