One Nation senator Rodney Culleton has failed in his bid to stop creditors from taking action to recoup about $280,000 in damages, in a matter the judge described as “a little unusual”.
In 2013, the senator was ordered to pay former Wesfarmers director Dick Lester more than $200,000 over a failed property deal.
Senator Culleton has unsuccessfully appealed twice against the ruling, and the court heard that figure had since ballooned to more than $280,000 plus costs.
It is understood Mr Lester has spent many times that amount fighting to enforce the order.
The senator filed an urgent application with the Federal Court on Friday which included an order to restrain Mr Lester and his companies from taking action to enforce the order.
Senator Culleton, who represented himself via phone link because he said he had pneumonia, added it was important the matter was dealt with urgently.
“They picked the fight with me and I have a right to defend myself, more so because I’m representing the people of Western Australia,” he said.
Bible, constitution referenced
In what Justice Neil McKerracher described as a “bulky affidavit”, Senator Culleton made reference to the Bible, the constitution and his struggles with the ANZ bank.
Senator Culleton’s argument rested on the premise that legislation amended in 2003 meant judges in the Supreme and District courts were no longer required to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen, meaning they had no jurisdiction and all decisions of those courts since 2005 were invalid.
But Justice McKerracher said Senator Culleton’s argument was “entirely erroneous” and “entirely unarguable”.
He described the nature of the hearing as “a little unusual” and noted there had been a number of previous attempts by other litigants to raise the same argument and all had been rejected as “unarguable” and “entirely lacking in merit”.
Senator Culleton’s application was dismissed and he was also ordered to pay Mr Lester’s legal costs.
It is not the Senator’s only matter currently before the courts.
He is due to face charges in New South Wales later this month and WA next year.
He is also facing a challenge to his eligibility to sit in the Senate in the Court of Disputed Returns.