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Principality of Hutt River (wikipedia.org)
13 points by johnny9822 on June 11, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 10 comments

Interesting hack: "Casley styled himself His Majesty Prince Leonard I of Hutt to take advantage of the British Treason Act 1495; that a self-proclaimed monarch could not be guilty of any offence against the rightful ruler, and that anyone who interfered with that monarch's duties could be charged with treason"

The Treason Act of 1495 was extensively modified before 1788 (when Australian law forked from British law). Furthermore, every State and Territory has extensive legislation repealing ancient laws such as these. Sometimes you find Acts that just repeal old laws (usually Imperial Repeal or similar), or the old laws are repealed as part of the some other Act (eg various criminal codes, property legislation etc).

Reading a history book doesn't make you a lawyer.

Replying to self because I'm past the edit deadline.

Calling this a "hack" is silly.

If I said I'd defeated Microsoft by discovering a backdoor into MULTICS I'd be correctly laughed off HN. The claim above is analogous.

I've been to Hutt River Province. No one is going to invade that country any time soon. There are no spoils to be had.

It's not an independent nation within Australia's borders. It's a bit of showmanship to turn a few bucks on merchandising.

The story of the bureaucratic cat-and-mouse, legal escalation and especially the part where PHR declares war on Australia cracks me up every time.

The PHR doesn't pay taxes to the ATO; that seems like quite an achievement for a micronation. I think it genuinely qualifies as more than just "a bit of showmanship".

I'd like to believe that the reason they're left alone is not just because of the legal hassle, but because someone in the Australian government had a sense of humour.

> The PHR doesn't pay taxes to the ATO

I can't find a source for this other than claims made by the promoters. The ATO clearly consider Hutt River to be a scam[1].

Sending income tax returns of the form "I earned $0" doesn't mean you've "won". It just means you've committed a Commonwealth crime by lying on your tax form.

Plus they pay GST anyhow.

[1] http://www.ato.gov.au/atp/content.aspx?doc=/content/62019.ht...

You're right, the the references to PHR residents being classed as "non residents of Australia for tax purposes" are derived from assertions made by... the PHR.

On the other hand, it really does seem like the government are happy to leave them alone as long as people don't try to "take the piss" and turn it into wide-scale tax avoidance scheme.

If it ever spread, I imagine the ATO would crush it like the fist of an angry god. They have enormous powers of investigation, assessment and judgement.

Plus it's passed into folk legend. It'd be bad politics to stamp on it. I imagine that they're waiting for the owners to die or sell up and they'll collect their pound of flesh from the estate.

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