Late last month we noted that the circus was coming to town, in the form of the “International Tribunal for Natural Justice” (ITNJ), which is scheduled to roll into London on 16–18 April, complete with jugglers, clowns, and fancy thumb-print-adorned treaties.
Despite its official-sounding name and admirably professional-looking stationery, the ITNJ bears more than a passing resemblance to Kevin Annett’s various fraudulent “tribunals” and “courts”, which everybody but Neelu Berry now accepts were a colossal waste of time, serving only to line Mr Annett’s pockets and puff up his already prodigious ego.
Speaking of lined pockets, when last we looked at the ITNJ crowdfunding page, they’d managed to collect about US$18,000 from their followers as of 27 March 2018. Currently, their total stands at US$66,285, more than halfway to their goal of US$120,000.
See? All that nice stationery was totally worth it!
We’ve taken a look at a few of the ITNJ’s proprietors—including Sacha Stone, aka Simon Jean Paul Sacha Adams, a combination New Age/SovCit huckster who, according to the blog Riddled, promotes organisations with names like “Humanitad, the Natural Justice Academy, the International Tribunal for Natural Justice, New Earth Nation, New Earth University… all about Childhood’s-End / Age-of-Aquarius / Cosmic-Consciousness Global Transformation, and the appropriation of indigenous cultures”.
James B. Gilmore, Ponzi artist
We also touched on the dodgy past of another ITNJ/Humanitad associate, the late “Ambassodor” James B. Gilmore, “Ambassador-at-Large for the Republic of Liberia”—a life-long appointment, according to him, although we could find no record of such a thing, and “Chairman of the Global Monetary Authority”, which to our knowledge does not exist.
In the early 1990s, Mr Gilmore and his adult daughter were involved in what Bloomberg called “one of the most outlandish scams in the history of get-rich-quick schemes”: a gigantic Ponzi scheme which ultimately involved not only the theft of millions of dollars, but the gangland-style murders of two British citizens who were living in France.
Chief Justice Sir Knobhead of Upperwankington*, Duke of Norfolk Island
We touched a few weeks ago on the overweening pomposity of the self-styled “Sir John Francis Walsh of Brannagh, The Duke de Ronceray Sir John Francis Patrick Cyril Colclough…” and a whole lot more that we don’t have time to type out right now.
If your eyesight is good and your patience infinite, you can read the rest of it here:
According to the 17 February 2006 Hansard minutes of the Australian Senate Committee meeting on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation, Mr Walsh (for he is neither a “Sir” nor a “Dr”) had made something of a reputation of himself as the “Duke” of Norfolk Island. (Norfolk Island is a tiny scrap of land located several hundred kilometres east of mainland Australia, which between 1979 and 2015 enjoyed “limited self-government” under which its residents were able to elect a government which ran most of its internal affairs.)
During the 17 February Senate Committee meeting, Labor Senator Kim Carr raised the issue of Mr Walsh’s multiple appointments on Norfolk Island: To sum up, Mr Walsh held the following appointments simultaneously:
- Magistrate of the Court of Petty Sessions, for which he received an honorarium of $100 per day;
- Senior member of the Administrative Review Tribunal, for which he received expenses of $500 sitting fees per day and $250 each half day;
- Deputy chair of the Norfolk Island Gaming Authority, for which he received $25,000 per annum, plus a daily allowance when attending to the business of the authority of $800 per day.
In addition, he had set up business as a notary public, had been engaged by Norfolk Island as a legal consultant, and was employed as a barrister and solicitor on Norfolk Island and a partner in the legal firm of McIntyres.
Oh, and he’d been appointed as a member of the executive of the legislature by the administrator under the Norfolk Island Act 1979, section 13.
On top of all that, he founded Greenwich “university”, about which Senator Carr noted, quoting former Minister for Education David Kemp,
‘The review committee established by the Commonwealth to examine the academic and financial credentials of Greenwich University has reported to me today. The committee was set up following a request from the Norfolk Island government that Greenwich University be listed on the Australian qualifications framework register, the AQF. The committee has recommended that, one, Greenwich University not be listed on the registers of the Australian qualifications framework, because the standard of its courses, quality assurance mechanisms and academic leadership fail to meet the standards expected of Australian universities’.
According to Senator Carr, Mr Walsh appointed a convicted fraudster, Dr Ian Mackechnie, as vice-chancellor of this institution, while he assumed the role of chancellor. The university is the sort which grants masters or doctoral degrees to an estimated annual 1,000 “distance learners” on the internet, at a cost of about $10,000 a pop.
Nice work if you can get it.
Duke on the dole?
And yet, despite this impressive resumé of activities—various public appointments, a legal career, a university chancellor—Mr Walsh was simultaneously claiming that he was unable to work.
During the 17 February Senate Committee meeting, Senator Carr asked
whether the department would be aware that Dr Walsh allegedly signed a series of sworn declarations where he declared, among other things, that he had not returned to any work except on occasions he was doing limited appearance work and was not able to perform any professional duties as a barrister, and that in various sworn affidavits he declared that he could only manage day-to-day living and had no current monthly earnings or no other source of income. …
I am interested to know because there are serious penalties for perjury in this country for the legal profession, particularly for persons signing false statutory declarations. There is a writ currently before the Supreme Court of Victoria which I have a copy of here. It is a public document dated 12 May 2004 in which Dr Walsh claimed that he was totally disabled and unable to work between the period of 1994 until 2004.
At the time of the Senate Committee meeting, proceedings were under way
…in the Supreme Court of Victoria between Dr Walsh and ING Life Ltd, and that the proceedings go to a claim being disputed by ING for moneys paid to Dr Walsh as part of an insurance claim for being totally incapacitated.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the amount in dispute was $300,000. Again, not a paltry sum.
Chief Justice loses his robes
Only about three weeks ago, the following popped up on Reddit’s “auslaw” sub-reddit:
Some of our more… ahem… senior posters are aware of proceedings that were brought against one of Melbourne’s more colourful barristers, John Walsh of Brannagh (who has/had quite the list of titles – more on that later).
Those proceedings have now been brought to an end, with sanction imposed by the Court on 23 February of this year. I hadn’t named Mr Walsh in my earlier references to the case as, although the judgments had been delivered in Court at that time, they were yet to be published on Austlii and I thought that it might be poking the bear to do so. Well, the wait is over.
By way of very general background, Mr Walsh had been accused of conduct constituting professional misconduct or otherwise unprofessional conduct for, among other things, representing himself to be the president of the Norfolk Island Bar Association (NIBA), representing the NIBA to be a professional body, representing himself to hold judicial office as the Chief Justice of the International Tribunal for Natural Justice, and representing himself to be entitled to use the honorific “Sir” under either the Australian or Imperial Honours system. The Court ultimately made findings against Mr Walsh in this regard.
So, in chronological order, are a number of judgments concerning the proceedings against Mr Walsh. Numbers 4 and 5 are where the most entertaining reading is found, but the remaining judgments give a good feel for just how truly weird the proceedings were:
Registrar, Supreme Court of Norfolk Island v Walsh  NFSC 1, in which Mr Walsh sought the proceedings be struck out, but was unsuccessful.
Registrar, Supreme Court of Norfolk Island v Walsh (No 2)  NFSC 2, in which his Honour Besanko CJ recused himself from hearing the matter on the ground of apprehended bias.
Registrar, Supreme Court of Norfolk Island v Walsh (No 3)  NFSC 4, in which an adjournment of the hearing in September 2017 was sought, but ultimately refused.
Registrar, Supreme Court of Norfolk Island v Walsh (No 4)  NFSC 7, in which the Court held Mr Walsh had committed both professional misconduct and unprofessional conduct.
Registrar, Supreme Court of Norfolk Island v Walsh (No 5)  NFSC 1, in which the Court removed Mr Walsh from the Register of Practitioners.
In other words, the ITNJ’s alleged “Chief Justice” has been stripped of any residual ability which he might have had to claim that he is a lawyer, let alone a Chief Justice of any sort of international tribunal, real or imagined.
Not that this is likely to stop Mr Walsh, or Sacha Stone for that matter, from steaming ahead as planned. After all, there’s gold in them thar hills.
* Thanks to commenter YdychyncachuTracey for coining John Walsh’s New Official HR Name.