Sovereignty is defined as "the ultimate overseer or supreme authority in a state. In a state sovereignty is vested in the institution, person, or body to
impose law on everyone else and to alter any pre-existing law."
In Australia sovereignty lies with the people because we are a Democracy where, by definition, the people rule. Australia is a Common Law country,
where the law made by the common people prevails over all other forms of law. The Australian Constitution is, itself, Common Law because it was directly approved by and can only be altered by a referendum of the common
people (s. 128).
Australian State and Federal Parliaments create Statute Law, which are only laws made indirectly by the common people, through their elected representatives.
However, Australian Courts create
Common Law because they are laws directly made by the common people forming Juries of twelve. It is a lie to say that Judge-made Law is Common Law because a Judge is not a Jury of the common people .
Coke (1552 - 1634) said, "Common Law doth control Acts of Parliament and when adjudged against common right to be void".
No one man has sovereignty over another. The American Declaration of Independence
says "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness -- That
to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --" and goes on to give one of "the causes which impel(led) them to the
separation" being "-- For depriving us in many cases of the benefits of Trial by Jury".
"Inalienable" means that those rights "cannot be given away nor taken away." Such rights
are sacred - "all men are (so) ..endowed by their Creator".
Ancient civilizations such as the Romans regarded the number 12 as sacred, ie: "safeguarded or required by religious or reverance or tradition,
indefeasible, inviolable, sacrosanct". Juries of 12, bound by oath, were regarded as a sacrament, which are the "visible signs of agreement between God and individuals". Only then could there be
"the lawful judgment of his Peers" (Magna Carta)
Trial by Jury is the confirmation of the "Freeman" status (as per Magna Carta) and the sovereignty of the People. Tyrants want to abolish Trial by Jury
so that they can assume sovereignty.
No one man can pass judgment on another but there must be the unanimous verdict of 12 of his equals, "beyond a reasonable doubt", for an accused to be punished for
violating the rights of another. Juries exercise their sovereignty in every action brought before them by judging the justice of the law or laws cited by the parties. Law and justice are not synonomous because a law can be
The Preamble to the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights says "Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny
and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.". Juries are just such a protection at law with Magna Carta, granting "for ever", the right to Trial by Jury. Trial by Jury is
the result of the wisdom of generations and has been sustained and honoured over the centuries by the wisdom of further generations.
To survive, Common Law must be in harmony with Natural Law. Natural Law is the
permanent underlying basis of all law. Philosophers have extolled that there was a kind of perfect justice given to man by nature and man's laws should conform to this as closely as possible. Theories of Natural Law have
been an important part of jurisprudence throughout history. The moral power of Natural Law derives from the fact that man's innate nature (itself part of the nature of the cosmos) and his propensities are viewed as ideal or
Immanuel Kant said that in all men there is a categorical imperative, ie: they know what is right and what is wrong. This unconditional, absolute, explicit, direct and plain-speaking bidding of
conscience creates the ultimate moral law and comprises the conditions under which all members of society can enjoy the maximum freedom from subjection to the arbitrary will of others.
- Compiled by J. Wilson, http://www.rightsandwrong.com.au