The Alberta court has once again called out pseudo law, that body of "spurious legally incorrect ideas that superficially sound like law and purport to be real law".1 Simply put, the phenomenon constitutes nothing more than the propagation of gobbledygook.
The audacity of practitioners of pseudo law is breathtaking. In the face of universal rejection by the Canadian courts, they employ falsity to "gain an advantage, authority, and other benefits",2 claiming that the law does not apply to them.
"Jacquie Phoenix", whose family name appears really to be Robinson, attempted, without success, to use the black art of pseudo law to intervene in a child-custody dispute.
As the court sets out in AVI v. MHVB, Ms. Robinson, who is not a lawyer, advised the court that she was acting for the mother in the dispute, claiming that she had the latter's power of attorney. The letter which she sent to the court about this is quite muddled and alarmingly treats the child at the heart of the dispute as to property. It is reported as reading as follows:
This is to inform you that [MHVB] is Lawfully standing under Article 61 of the 1215 Magna Carta which was Invoked on March 23rd 2001 according to the Constitutional Royal Protocol. The Court of Queens Bench is an Unlawful Assembly with No Authority to deal with this matter since the Invocation of Article 61 thus All Judgments made by the Court of Queens's Bench in this matter are Null and Void. [MHVB] and All of her Property are Protected by the Constitution and the People of the Commonwealth Realm. We require the Immediate Restoration of Her Property see enclosed Exhibit: G in the notice of Conditional Acceptance.
Failure to restore the Property of [MHVB] within 7 days of receiving this letter will constitute High treason, which still carries the Gallows. I urge you to consider Eichmann vs the People "I was just doing my job" is no defence. Nuremberg.
Maximin Law Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse3
From the Magna Carta of 1215 to the mixed-up idea that a court constitutes an "Unlawful Assembly" through outrageous references to "High Treason", "the Gallows", Adolf Eichmann and the Nuremberg Trials in two short paragraphs!
Among other things, Ms. Robinson challenged the custody proceedings by relying on what the court called the "Magna Carta Lawful Rebellion" (referred to as "MCLR"), which appears to go something like this:4
- members of the MCLR purport to swear allegiance to a British aristocrat under what they say is Article 61 of the Magna Carta of 1215;
- by virtue of their oath, they are no longer subject to the courts, police and others who are guilty of "High Treason" for failing to obey what they claim is the "Constitutional Law" or the "Common Law" as they define it (or, more accurately put, they make up);
- the aristocrat in question is identified as Lord Craigmyle of Invernesshire, who appears to be Baron Craigmyle (Thomas Columba Shaw) and whose ancestors were not among the barons involved in the Magna Carta of 1215;
- he is, however, one of 28 peers who in 2001 signed a petition to Queen Elizabeth II to request that she not give royal assent to legislation ratifying the Treaty of Nice, an international agreement which would have the effect of increasing the powers of the European Parliament over member states;
- in so doing, the peers relied on the Magna Carta, declaring themselves in "lawful rebellion" under it (their petition had little effect - royal assent was granted, the treaty was ratified, and the United Kingdom did not find itself in legal chaos or civil war);
- MCLR participants then send a series of notices to the court which set out that they are no longer subject to conventional legal authorities because such authorities are comprised of traitors, etc, who have subverted the law (as they fashion it);
- instead, they are loyal to the barons who in 2001 invoked the Magna Carta in opposition to the Treaty of Nice (and who would no doubt find it perplexing that someone in Canada is swearing allegiance to one of them);
- in addition, they claim that by assenting to the Treaty, the British monarch breaks her coronation oath, other subordinate oaths are invalidated and the United Kingdom falls into chaos.
In lengthy written reasons, the court methodically dismantles the notion of the MCLR5 as well as the other troubling claims advanced by Ms. Robinson, pointing out that employing pseudo-law strategies is abusive, an indication that someone may not be a fit parent, and that doing so causes real harm to people. With respect to the latter point, the judge observed as follows:
I can only guess at the scope and kind of misconduct and self-injury that results from MCLR belief. But in this case, I know that there is a little four-year-old girl whose health, safety, and well-being are being placed in jeopardy by these ideas.6
The court prohibited Ms. Robinson from acting for the mother in the custody dispute and is in the process of considering other restrictions on her ability to participate in legal proceedings.
What the purveyors of pseudo law do is not a joke: it is abusive, self-destructive (how often have they succeeded in court?), counterfactual, and uses up already overtaxed judicial resources. They should simply stop.
2. Ibid. at para. 2
3. Ibid. at para. 6.
4. Ibid. at paras 39- 71.
5. Particularly at Ibid., para. 72 et seq.
6. Ibid. at para. 135.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.