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Bankrupt solicitor maintains ‘grave’ racism allegations despite warnings

A solicitor who was recently declared a vexatious litigant has repeated unfounded allegations of racism against a Law Society member in an attempt to shake a bankruptcy notice.

user iconNaomi Neilson 22 February 2024 Big Law
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Emmanuel Ezekiel-Hart, who was declared a vexatious litigant in the ACT Supreme Court earlier this month, was unsuccessful in an application to have a bankruptcy notice set aside in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA).

Judge Nicholas Manousaridis determined the court did not have the jurisdiction to set aside the bankruptcy notice because it was out of time but noted that even if Mr Ezekiel-Hart had done so before the deadline, “he would not have succeeded on any of the grounds”.

Those grounds include more baseless allegations against the Council of the Law Society of the ACT, its members, and other judicial members, including Supreme Court justices.


Many of the allegations – and the proceedings, which led to him being declared a vexatious litigant – began after Mr Ezekiel-Hart was refused a practising certificate. He claimed it was because of his race.

In the affidavit for the bankruptcy proceedings, Mr Ezekiel-Hart complained Robert Reis, the professional standards manager for the ACT Law Society, had “lied” to secure the bankruptcy notice.

“That is no more than an unparticularised assertion which it was and is not open to Mr Ezekiel-Hart to make,” Judge Manousaridis said.

“In any event, there is no evidence on the basis of which it would be open to find that Mr Reis, or any other person on behalf of the council or Law Society, had lied to Judge [Warwick] Neville.”

Judge Manousaridis noted Judge Neville had cautioned Mr Ezekiel-Hart from making such “grave allegations”.

Mr Ezekiel-Hart also alleged the bankruptcy notice was made only because he had lodged a criminal complaint against Mr Reis and made a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

He said the bankruptcy notice was for the “ulterior motive to coerce” him from “asserting [his] human rights before the [commission] and maintaining [his] discrimination action against [Mr Reis]”.

“These submissions do not go beyond unparticularised assertions; and there is no evidence on the basis of which it would be open to find that the council applied for the issue of the bankruptcy notice for a reason other than to demand payment of the amounts recorded in the costs certificate,” Judge Manousaridis said.

Mr Ezekiel-Hart also attempted to dodge costs, submitting Judge Manousaridis should not exercise his discretion because he alleged Mr Reis and the Law Society “had lied”.

Judge Manousaridis said other submissions were made that “I do not understand”, including that the “costs [are] not automatic” and “the High Court also made a decision that even in betting who will win a case, because an order can still be made for me to pay the costs”.

“These are not matters that would cause me not to follow the usual outcome as to costs, namely, that the unsuccessful party should be ordered to pay the costs of the successful party.

“I will, therefore, also order that Mr Ezekiel-Hart pay the respondent’s costs,” Judge Manousaridis said.

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