Tuesday, 21 April 2020

dum spiro spero

With a total land area of some seventy-five kilometres—making the micronation larger than some recognised microsates—the Principality of Hutt River (originally called a province) was founded when Leonard Casley (*1925 - †2019) declared his farm to be an independent entity on this day fifve decades ago and seceded from Australia over a dispute concerning wheat quotas, banding together with four other families who worked the land of the floodplain, lodging a formal objection with the state’s governor.
One item of corres- pondence inadvertently addressed Casley as the “administrator of the Hutt River Province,” which Casley asserted as recognition of his sovereignty. Believing that styling himself as prince would legally shield him from charges of treason as well as levy punishment on those who would interfere with discharging his duties as leader, based on his reading of a thirteenth century law, the principality further claimed that outside of Australian jurisdiction, subjects were not required to pay Australian taxes. After a reign of forty-five years in 2017, Prince Leonard abdicated in favour of his son, Graeme. The principality has no legal status under Australian law and has no diplomatic representation. The title refers to the Principality’s motto—“While I breath, I hope.”—attributed to Andrew the Apostle.