In Pethers v Minister for Agriculture, Pembroke J was faced with a summary dismissal application by the Minister – the Plaintiff was self represented and the judgment began:

“HIS HONOUR: The plaintiff is a grazier who conducts a grazing business in northern New South Wales. By his amended Statement of Claim filed on 11 June 2010 he seeks the following remedy:

PROPOSED REMEDY: I am not indisposed to a reasonable settlement, nor a state contiguity with an identification or tracking operation. However sufficient condition already existed with vendor declarations and the obligatory docketing and notation through sales and registered stock agents. These systems are more accurate in addition to more trustworthy, at hand and detail a descriptive account of age, style and sex of the subjects. Moreover the traditional tailtag, invariably used in sequence (and so numbered), has distinct advantage of indicating vendor and booked in as a superior article (ten weaner steers, two black cows etc) does not inculcate in the minds of handlers, agents, abbittoir workers and the like, a diminution of responsibility, thinking that (even subliminally) a scanner or machine will do that. Only a contemporaneous, passive non invasive scenario of non wireless tailtags. A pathway from breeding onto finishing, then slaughter, without the stress, fresh wound, contusions to head neck and shoulder, agitated handling and passage through the process, will ensure optimal meat quality. Rescue from bankruptcy, and, acceptance of effect that has been an unbearable holocaust for myself and animals. That has been a great personal pain, damage and cost, that must stop, and resolve sought forthwith and duly recorded.


It is, I regret to say, transparently obvious from the description of the remedy which the plaintiff seeks that this is not a conventional proceeding based upon an orthodox cause of action seeking orthodox relief.”

His Honour found the pleading was “gallimaufry” (difficult to understand and impossible to disentangle) before striking it out…

Creative commons acknowledgment for the photograph and thanks to Shane Paterson for telling me about this case.
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