tldr: i was convicted on all charges and fined a total of $4500 dollars. my necessity defence was declared “but a furphy” because there is no imminent threat to anything.
here is the recording of the hearing:
here is the recording of the the verdict and sentencing (after an hour or so adjournment):
i found out i’d drawn magistrate hardy before he entered the courtroom, and remembered that he’d given me a 70-day jail sentence suspended for two years that i appealed and had overturned in the county court.
the hearing started out in a friendly way, with magistrate hardy telling me to shut up and sit down when i tried to helpfully answer the questions he was asking the prosecutor (who had no idea of the answers, unlike myself, who both knew and was able to explain in a succinct manner).
he then asked me if i wanted to ask him to disqualify himself (because he remembered the 70 day sentence and successful appeal also) — i couldn’t work out if he wanted me to or not, i felt like he kind of wanted me to, but he wouldn’t say when i asked him (because that’s not how it works, you see).
i didn’t care if he hated me (all the judicial blokes seem to find me inherently offensive anyway), i just kinda wanted to get it over with, also lots of friends had come down for it, so after some confusion i just said let’s get on with it.
the way in which my hearings are run in the magistrates’ court is often very different, i was expecting that the hearing might happen like last time, where i just handed up my written submissions and didn’t really have to talk at all.
this time i was told i would need to give evidence to support my submissions (strictly speaking, legal argument is one thing, but my thoughts and emotions are considered evidence, which can’t just be presented in my legal argument (submissions) but must be presented as sworn evidence from the witness box)
i wasn’t prepared at all to give evidence, but i think from now on i should always be ready to jump in the witness box.
problem is i always forget such resolutions… i should read my blog more.
i might forget because i tend to try to avoid going to the emotional effort of spilling my guts verbally in the witness box (written submissions are so much easier to compose and deliver), only so the judicial official can jump up and down on my guts and put an official label of WRONG on my guts before they punish me for having wrong guts — but i really need to just stop being a dumb depressed sook and stand up and say my shit.
the good thing about magistrate hardy is that he takes his job very seriously, and he delivered a decision that was probably more considered and based in precedent than any i have received before in the magistrates’ court — of course it was still shit, the precedents were shit, and everything was shit, but at least it was proper, well-researched shit.
magistrate hardy’s decision had many references to precedents, but the main one he relied on was “the queen versus dixon-jenkins” , where justice stark basically said that if an imminent peril cannot be resolved completely and entirely “as it were overnight” by any action attempting to address this imminent threat, then any action seeking to address that threat is irrational.
the case of dixon-jenkins involved a nuclear disarmament activist (dixon-jenkins) threatening people and property in some way (explosives i think) to bring people’s attention to the imminent threat of nuclear war.
magistrate hardy read out this passage of justice stark’s decision in ‘the queen versus dixon jenkins’:
” … because in my opinion it is an irrational argument, and were it not for strong evidence as to the applicant’s sanity, i would have said “to the pont of insanity”.
the flaw in the argument is this: it is predicted that society, at present, has a war-mongering, mercenary attitude. that the publicity that the anti-nuclear adherent will achieve from these crimes and the ensuing publicity will change overnight, as it were, or in the very near future, that attitude, into a peace-loving caring outlook.
the whole of human experience shows that when society holds, however wrongly, deeply-rooted philosophical views, it is quite impossible to eradicate those views, except in the very long term, and accordingly, assuming there is an imminent peril for the purposes of the doctrine of necessity, which i doubt, it is in my opinion quite impossible to hold that the peril is removed, or indeed, in any way impacted by the commission of these offences.”
magistrate hardy continued:
“and for that reason, which was very much the reason for the decision of the learned judge, i think that the argument as to the defence of necessity must fail. and in my opinion the learned judge was quite right at trial not to put it to the jury…
… i have little doubt that the view held by mr. magee, at least subjectively, is held bona fide. whether it’s rational or not is for others to say not me, i don’t need to determine the rationality of that view.
my view is that the comments of his honour, as he was, mr. justice stark, are absolutely apposite to what i need to determine here.
i’m of the view that despite mr. magee’s protestations to the contrary, that there is no imminent threat, and that there is no way of ameliorating any threat, imminent or otherwise, by the course of conduct upon which he embarks.
to adopt a great australian colloquialism, his defence is but a furphy, there is nothing in it, at law.
i do not accept that it is applicable to this offending, i do not accept that the defence of necessity is appropriate to even be considered beyond what — the consideration i’ve given — in relation to this offending.
accordingly all charges in each three cases are proved.”
so basically, mr justice stark has said that complex social problems that may take generations to solve (such as nationalistic moralities, or religious adherence to economic models requiring unsustainable exponential growth) cannot constitute imminent threats for the basis of a necessity defence, because even if they are imminent threats, they cannot be solved or meaningfully impacted by the actions of an individual… what a colossal load of historically-ignorant shit.
magistrate hardy said he doesn’t need to determine the rationality of my perception of reality or my response to it, but also says my perception of reality is wrong… and also that my response to it wouldn’t ever do dick, even if there was a problem, which there’s not.
magistrate hardy didn’t jail me, as he noted “nothing deters mr. magee”, so he just fined me, mentioning the upcoming birth of my second child as something which could possibly cause me to see the light (while acknowledging that the birth of my first child did nothing of the sort).
maybe he liked the way i was dressed up and did my hair this time? or maybe he just didn’t want to have another jail sentenced overturned on appeal?… i don’t know.
he did spend a lot of time saying that the indictable charges should not be dropped next time, that i need to be tried in the county court where they have “sentencing discretion” — basically saying, little bits of jail don’t work, so we should try big bits of jail, that might work (the OPP are the ones who always decide to drop the charges, and i’m pretty sure no one at the OPP will get the memo from magistrate hardy: “we need big bits of jail for this magee gronk, DON’T DROP INDICTABLE OFFENCES NEXT TIME DUMBIES!!”)
towards the end, he also mentioned that as i’m on the disability support pension (for being so “crazy” that i cannot live co-operatively with this destructive society, and can only live my life in total protest), i might not be a suitable candidate for “general deterrence”, citing the case “blah blah versus blah blah” which i can only assume says “don’t lock up the crazies to deter others from being crazy, cause they’re not even crazy, and crazy people are just gunna be crazy yo” — that’ll be a heartening turn if such a thing becomes a thing in future cases.