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Althaus v Australia Meat Holdings Pty Ltd


[2010] QCA 312








Appeal No 7043 of 2010

SC No 3937 of 2006








AND OTHERSRespondents




DATE 10/11/2010



HOLMES JA:  The three respondents seek to strike out the appellant’s notice of appeal or, alternatively, security for the costs of that appeal.  The appeal is from an order of Daubney J striking out the proceedings of Redmeat Pty Ltd commenced in 2006 against the respondents.  The appellant had sought to be joined as a plaintiff in those proceedings, but declined to identify himself as the applicant before his Honour.  His Honour struck out the application for non-appearance.  His Honour also struck out the proceedings by Redmeat for a number of reasons.  Firstly, the pleadings were defective; claims for contravention of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) and for negligent misstatement made against all three respondents lacked any allegation of reliance.  Secondly, a breach of contract claim against the first respondent was subject to an Anshun estoppel because it was based on an agreement relied on in 2004 proceedings for breach of duty of confidence, those proceedings having been struck out.  Thirdly, the proceedings against all the respondents were not brought expeditiously as r 5 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) required, causing manifest prejudice to the respondents.  Fourthly, referring to the history of the matter, his Honour concluded that the proceedings amounted to an abuse of process.


The appellant appeals on the following ground against both orders:


“1.His Honour made a mistake or erred in law or judgment by proceeding to conclude matters or issues before him, whilst conceding or accepting that His Honour’s Court had no jurisdiction to proceed in the absence of the concession of the jurisdiction by John Edmond Althaus as the representative of the Applicant JOHN EDMOND ALTHAUS or the (First) Plaintiff REDMEAT Pty Ltd.


  1. His Honour erred in law by holding the Court out as the Supreme Court of Queensland.”


The appellant has subsequently asserted that he is a Commonwealth public official, Commonwealth entity or authority so that his matters must be dealt with in a court upon which Federal jurisdiction has been conferred under Ch III of the Constitution.  He claims to be a Commonwealth public official because s 13 of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) permits any person to institute either summary proceedings or proceedings for commitment for trial in respect of Commonwealth offences and the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) defines “Commonwealth Public Official” as including “an individual … who exercises powers, or performs functions, conferred on the person by or under a law of the Commonwealth.”  Under the Criminal Code, a “Commonwealth authority” is “a body established by or under a law of the Commonwealth” and “person” is defined as including a “Commonwealth authority that is not a body corporate.”  “Commonwealth entity” means the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority.  All of those descriptions then, the appellant says, fit him and he is entitled to the protection of the Commonwealth’s judicial power. 


The appellant says he has delivered purported s 78B notices under the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) on the respective Attorneys-General of the State and Commonwealth on 3 September 2010, identifying as the constitutional issue “the removal of the Crown of the United Kingdom from specific laws from Western Australia in the year 2003.”  Attached to the notice was a document described as an election petition alleging that the removal of reference to the Crown of the United Kingdom in Western Australian legislation amounted to fraud and treason.  Because of his delivery of these notices, the appellant claims that the proceedings in this Court are suspended.  The appellant declined, he said on medical advice, to explain the basis on which he asserted, in his appeal grounds, that the Court had no jurisdiction or the basis on which he now asserts that this Court has no jurisdiction.


Having examined the material, including the purported s 78B notice, I conclude, firstly, that it raises no matter relevant to this case arising under the Constitution or involving its interpretation and, even if it had, a reasonable time has elapsed since Mr Althaus claims to have given the notice to the Attorneys-General for their consideration of intervention or removal.  Secondly, the appellant’s claim to be a Commonwealth public official, authority or entity whose matters must be heard by a court exercising Federal jurisdiction under Ch III, is a nonsense.  Assuming that there exists a Commonwealth Act in which no contrary intention appears in respect of the general capacity to prosecute conferred by s 13, and assuming (in the absence of any evidence) that the appellant is “an individual who exercises [s 13] powers” so as to make him a Commonwealth public official, that confers no right of having his matters heard in the Federal Court.  Nor will it make him a body established by or under a law of the Commonwealth so as to be a Commonwealth authority or a Commonwealth entity.  A body may be a person for certain purposes but an individual person cannot be a body by himself, let alone one established by or under law. 


Finally, for reasons explored by Keane JA in Althaus v Australia Meat Holdings Proprietary Ltd [2009] QCA 221 at [18] [20], to invoke the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in the Trial Division or in this Division, and then to argue that it has no jurisdiction, smacks of abuse of process. 


The appeal is vexatious and should be struck out with costs.


MUIR JA:  I agree.


McMURDO J:  I agree.


HOLMES JA: That is the order.


Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    Althaus v Australia Meat Holdings Pty Ltd & Ors

  • Shortened Case Name:

    Althaus v Australia Meat Holdings Pty Ltd

  • MNC:

    [2010] QCA 312

  • Court:


  • Judge(s):

    Holmes JA, Muir JA, McMurdo J

  • Date:

    10 Nov 2010

Litigation History

Event Citation or File Date Notes
Primary Judgment [2010] QSC 276 11 Jun 2010 Proceedings dismissed, plaintiff pay the defendant’s costs ; Daubney J.
Appeal Determined (QCA) [2010] QCA 312 10 Nov 2010 Appeal struck out with costs; Holmes JA, Muir JA, McMurdo J.

Appeal Status

{solid} Appeal Determined (QCA)