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Court hears winemaker’s bizarre theory about royal family

A winemaker facing contempt of court charges made a number of strange claims about international treaties and the royal family.

user iconNaomi Neilson 18 March 2024 Big Law
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Andrew Garrett, a former South Australian winemaker, returned to the Federal Court to fight claims he breached court orders permanently restraining him from carrying on a “banking business”.

The court was told that despite these orders, Garrett continued to carry on the banking business and advertised or represented as he could.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has now requested Garrett be punished on a contempt of court finding.


Garrett tried to fight against this with a “no-case submission”, which Justice Michael Lee said included “several wide-ranging submissions going to the lawfulness of the contempt application”.

Justice Lee said many of the submissions did not warrant attention.

“Given the nature of the arguments, which spanned from the enforceability of international treaties in Australia to powers vested in and through the royal family, each argument does not warrant individual identification and response,” Justice Lee said.

In one submission, Garrett claimed he was handed “shut me up orders”, which impacted “his fundamental human rights and upon various fundamental freedoms given to him by various instruments”.

In another, Garrett referred to the “paramount duty” of lawyers not to engage in misleading or deceptive conduct before a court.

“It suffices to say that I do not understand any lawyer involved in this case has misled or deceived the court in conducting this proceeding so as to breach this paramount duty,” Justice Lee said.

A final submission was Justice Lee should adjourn the matter because the Judiciary Act required him to.

In Garrett’s view, this was because Justice Lee should be satisfied he had suffered “various wrongs” and is “without adequate means to provide a defence”, so it is in the interests of justice to adjourn.

“Again, this submission is inapposite,” Justice Lee said.

The no-case submission application was dismissed, and the proceeding was adjourned for early May to hear the contempt matter.