The currency argument

Posted on Aug 27, 2010 | 3 comments


I have previously blogged about the activities of Alan George Skyring. Mr Skyring is the champion of the so called “currency argument”. According to Mr Skyring all laws dealing with paper currency are invalid because gold and silver coins are the only currency referred to in the Magna Carta. Mr Skyring has pushed his barrow so far that he was declared a vexatious litigant by the High Court in 1992 (see Jones v. Skyring [1992] HCA 39, where you will find a summary of the 50 odd sets of proceedings commenced by him). The costs orders which he collected along the way resulted in his bankruptcy. This didn’t stop him appealing against a decision of his trustee and didn’t stop his trustee seeking security for costs.  Spender J showed some good humour in his judgment on that application in Skyring v Sweeney [1999] FCA 61 said:

[4] Notwitstanding Mr Skyring’s forceful submissions that the provisions of Magna Carta, amongst others, prohibit the imposition of orders for security for costs as that involves in a sense the selling of justice, and notwithstanding Mr Skyring’s argument – almost a mantra really – that it is impossible to comply with an order for security for costs, it being asserted by him that paper money is not legal tender in Australia, in this case, in my opinion, on the proper application of s 56 of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 , I ought to order the provision of security for costs.


[9] I express no view as to the prospects of success of the proposed appeal, since it is an appeal from a judgment of my own, but I do note that the point which Mr Skyring wishes to agitate on the appeal is the same point which he has pursued with commitment, if not wisdom, on many occasions in the past. He no doubt hopes that he will strike it lucky sooner or later.

…I have my doubts!

Creative commons attribution for the photograph.


  1. Can anyone direct me to further resources so I can read about Alan Skyring’s arguments in detail?

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  2. There’s a tragi-comic aspect to the Skyring saga; however, he does have a point, albeit expressed incorrectly & thru incorrect laws. If you would like my full exposition of why the currency is invalid, I can email you the full legally valid argument. Just as a teaser, have a look at the latest acts of some U.S. States which have/are enacting legislation based on Article 1 Section 10 of their Constitution, which is from where our Secton 115 is derived , that enforces only gold & silver coinage as payment of debts to/from State government. Mr Skyring was so near and yet so far off … The saga continues … Like Star Wars, but with Skyring, instead of Skywalker! Use the Force!!

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  3. Actually Mr Skyring wasn’t far off, he unfortunately picked a position and ran with it without checking his hypothesis further. He also picked the wrong part of the wrong legislation for the wrong jurisdiction and got on his donkey, riding it into the sunset (literally – a combination of Don Quixote and Icarus!).

    The Currency Act defines the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Sections 9, 11, 16 restrict ALL payments made to that of the coins denoted in the Act and the Regulations up to the value of 10 times the coin concerned (ie effectively up to a maximum of $20)

    The Reserve Bank Act denominates both Commonwealth of Australia notes and Reserve Bank notes (there is a world of difference). However, in the table provided in the Act, only pre-decimal notes are given an actual value (as any giving value to any current notes would be an infringement of section 22 of the Currency Act.)

    Section 115 of the constitution restricts the States from both coining money (only coins can be money, notes are only able to be promissory of coinage) and also from making anything other than gold or silver coin a legal tender in payment of debts either to/from the State. That is, all fines issued from, or taxes paid to, a State government MUST be in gold or silver coin.

    (Please see the States of Utah and Georgia for identical legislation, as our s. 115 is directly based on Article 1 Section 10 of the US Constitution.)

    I have a much more detailed argument which I can email to you, if you so desire.

    Meanwhile, like the Star Wars saga the Skyring saga has reached a climax, except in the film Skywalker triumphs because he uses the Force (not force!)



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