New Zealand

Man charged with manslaughter claims he's not subject to NZ laws

Wed, May 24
High Court at Auckland (file picture).

A man charged with manslaughter and car theft has dismissed his lawyer in the High Court at Auckland today.

Jay Maui Wallace, also known as Maui Warahi, claimed he was not subject to New Zealand's laws, a belief held by the anti-government Sovereign Citizen movement.

During his appearance today, Wallace tried to challenge the judge and dismissed his defence lawyer, Vivienne Feyen, in favour of representing himself.

When asked by Justice Sally Fitzgerald to enter a plea, Wallace said he could not address an artificial entity.

He also demanded to see the judicial oath of allegiance, something she refused as she said it was hanging in her office.

Justice Fitzgerald returned him to the court cells, after extensive interruptions.

As he was taken away, he called out "duress" and said he would report the court's actions to "the federal government".

The judge said she was not going to debate the defendant.

Wallace was expected to appear again in two weeks' time.

What is the Sovereign Citizen Movement?

The Auckland District Law society has described the Sovereign Citizen movement as pseudo law, using obfuscatory tactics in court.

It said some members practise subsets of right-wing extremism, which has grown in recent years in New Zealand.

Some claimed they were only bound by statutes if they consented to them, it said.

By Finn Blackwell for


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