It was essential that the islanders understood the difference between statute, or Maritime Law, and Common Law. According to official information from their government the island was a common law jurisdiction. Common Law was based on longstanding constitutional documentation dating back many centuries. Common Law was there for the protection of all. Statute Law generally swelled government coffers as it was frequently connected with penalties, fees and fines. It was therefore necessary to establish if a judge was acting in accordance with their Oath of Office (Common Law). The information given to the islanders was that if a judge could not confirm that he was acting under his Oath of Office then he was simply impersonating a judge.
The islanders began to realise that it made absolutely no sense to have to pay for a television licence, or a dog licence or a car licence. After all, who decided that this was necessary? Surely, a free man can do all these things without paying to do so? Furthermore, they were told that registering anything or anyone actually removes entitled of ownership. Yes, the car registration certificate certainly referred to the “registered keeper” and not the owner, they recalled.
They were told that words used in court were in fact known as legalese, which meant that the words could have a different meaning than those in general use. This caused further consternation and concern. Similarly, they found words in common use by the bigger island also had different meanings. They discovered that the term The City did not really mean the capital of the island but referred to a corporation of bankers operating within the capital city. And when their neighbours referred to the Crown it became clear that they were not referring to a monarch, but to the bankers in the City. This changed the islanders’ perceptions of many things.
Bit by bit the jigsaw pieces fitted together and the residents of the Isle of the Ancient King realised that they had few rights but numerous duties. The question was: What do we do now and how can we change things?
To be continued