Some Common Sense on “Common Law”

Published On: 20 August 2023| Categories: Editorial| 6.7 min read|
This is a guest post by Charlie O’Neill. It was originally published in The Light Paper UK 

Like many others who got involved in the wider anti-lockdown movement, I was at first perplexed by what seemed to be the mysterious spread of certain ideas concerning non-payment of taxes; reclaiming our ‘true’ identity and extricating ourselves from State power, all of which were presented under the label of ‘Common Law’.

At first I didn’t quite know what to make of this approach – the claims being made were so complex and so wide-ranging –  encompassing various old pieces of legislation, many different types of law (Maritime, Equity, Common Law etc.)  History, Linguistics and even Esoterics – that it was hard to come to a conclusion on any single aspect of it, let alone evaluate the phenomenon as a whole.

I have since come to my own personal conclusions concerning the validity of many of the specific claims made – a summary of which can be found HERE for those who are interested.

However, the more that I investigated the, so-called, ‘Common Law’ approach, the more that I came to realise that none of the specific claims which its adherents make really matter, even if some of them are actually true.

This is because the foundation on which the entire approach actually rests is not a matter of historical or legal record but instead a kind of metaphysical belief about how the universe itself functions.

As most of the ‘Common Law’ proponents seem to believe in a range of slightly – and sometimes widely – varying things, I want to quickly provide the most general possible formulation of their overall beliefs in order to demonstrate how they all hinge upon this key metaphysical doctrine concerning the importance of ‘contracts’.

  1. The system of supposed ‘Laws’ we all abide by is in fact largely a counterfeit designed to gain our ‘consent’ to be governed.
  2. There is a true system of Law which the ruling elite have kept concealed from us in order to be able to gain unfair advantage over us.
  3. In effect, we unknowingly enter into various sorts of ‘contract’ with the ruling powers which allow them to violate our inherent rights due to having first deceptively gained our ‘consent’ to do so in various ways (i.e our births being registered, replying to official communications etc.)
  4. If we know about the different systems of Law and the importance of Contract then they, effectively, no longer have any power over us and we can not only avoid various kinds of illegitimate demands and taxations imposed upon us by the elite, but can begin to make demands upon them ourselves, demands which they must obey – if we formulate them correctly at least.

(note: This viewpoint is subtly different from the viewpoint of those who advocate for our historical tradition of Common Law – who would probably say something along the lines of: we have an ancient tradition of Common Law that was upheld and protected by social consent and, when necessary, the threat of arms not mystical contracts or the goodwill of the elite – a tradition which the elite have gradually eroded and concealed from us in order to replace it with their own top-down system of management and control.)

However I believe that this model can easily be disproved by the application of basic logic…

If it was indeed true that the elite must first trick and confuse those they rule over in order to abuse them in various ways  – and this seems to be the basis of all the various ‘Common Law’ theories – then how do its adherents explain the many occasions on which our government and others have resorted to the use of extreme force and other forms of violation against individuals who had clearly not ‘consented’ to be so treated in any way whatsoever?

How did the children and adult civilians in various foreign countries ‘we’ have invaded or caused to be invaded ‘contract’ with anybody in order to ‘agree’ to be blown apart by  laser-guided missiles, or starved to death as a result of trade embargoes (and if they didn’t, then how did this occur – were the politicians not worried about karmically  ‘breaking the rules’ by engaging in this entirely non-contractual behaviour? If so then why did they do it anyway? If not, then why would they care about doing it to us now?)

Furthermore, how do political dissidents like Julian Assange and other opponents of the powerful find themselves kidnapped and imprisoned without even the semblance of due procedure or any form of ‘consent’. How did the elite get the victims to ‘consent’ in any meaningful way to the various forms of abuse uncovered in such atrocities as the Dutroux Affair in Belgium and the recent Epstein scandal in the US?

Ask yourself: if the elite could engage in these acts without any consequence, or any apparent fear about ‘breaking the rules’ of reality, then what is stopping them from doing the same to us now, without the need for engaging in any complex legal trickery or wordplay whatsoever?

Why does any of this matter anyway?

It matters because we all at least claim to be fighting to uphold our freedoms and future possibilities against a criminal elite that has given itself the ‘right’ to dispose of them. In this struggle, having a faulty, naive or just plain nonsensical model of political and legal reality renders the task at best a futile waste of time and, at worst, a dangerous distraction that plays into the very hands of the very authorities it claims to oppose.

In addition, to stand against the system with a false sense of confidence, using incorrect information, can easily lead to people unnecessarily putting themselves directly in the crosshairs of the authorities – a situation which can, ironically, end up giving the system much more leverage and thus power over them than it had to begin with!

Although it may be psychologically comforting to convince ourselves that the injustice of the world and the tyranny of the powerful is merely illusory or something that can easily be ‘contracted’ out of, the history of recent times shows that the state’s power is indeed very real and that it obeys no laws whatsoever when it feels itself to be threatened in any way or when its ill-gotten wealth or power are put at risk (see two World Wars, the Communist Gulags, State Sponsored Terrorism etc.)

Not only does this approach waste people’s limited time and energy but it also subtly misdirects them from properly engaging with the reality of the system itself – a reality in which the law is little more than something that can be adopted as a mere convenience to more smoothly govern society and which is immediately discarded whenever it threatens to actually benefit the ‘non-elite’ in any meaningful way. Instead, ‘Common Law’ leads its followers down a range of esoteric rabbit holes which render them, effectively, useless as far as intelligently opposing the system and its various abuses goes.

As pointed out in William Keyte’s article in issue 31 of this paper (‘finding common ground in the constitution’) this approach also, perhaps conveniently, steers people from engaging with the actually existing tradition of Common Law in this country, a tradition which is very much under attack and which might, arguably, constitute a useful point to rally and organise around.

For those who do believe in some variety of ‘Common Law’ solution to the situation we all find ourselves in, I would be keen to hear how they feel that my overall summary of their position is incorrect and how they would explain the above logical fallacies which, to my mind at least, their
beliefs seem to imply.

Charlie O’Neill

If you’d like to read more about Charlie’s perspective on Common Law, check out these other articles:

The Common Law Cult Part one
The Common Law Cult Part two

13 responses to “Some Common Sense on “Common Law””

  1. Bill Avatar

    I’m glad that VFF are rebutting the pernicious and undermining “Common Law” cult that has made so many good people look and sound like idiots vis a vis our normative rather than metaphysical legal system, which suffers no fools.

    1. David Jackson Avatar

      Question, if our MPs , Police and judge’s are employed by the Corporation why then are we answerable to them. They are not Public Servants

    2. Susan Avatar

      Hear hear !!

    3. Gary Dudding Avatar
      Gary Dudding

      That’s a little unfair because even Prime Ministers utter the words “Natural Law,” I have seen Jacinda Ardern do so.

      Dear Author, tyrants are few, good people are many, there’s that to remember to renew your faith.

  2. X-Anon Avatar

    Excellent article, and probably as many opinions on this as there are readers. Some key takeaways for me: ‘at best a futile waste of time and, at worst, a dangerous distraction’, & ‘this approach waste people’s limited time and energy but it also subtly misdirects them from properly engaging’. It also provides the perfect excuse for not voting in the upcoming election, leaving the door wide open for people we don’t want, to sweep to victory. I engage with everyone opposed to the current regime, becasue I believe it is much easier to change the system from the inside, even though I don’t agree with everything they say. Nothing in life is perfect, but as long as you’re moving in the right direction, there is hope. I urge everyone who reads this article to front up on 14 Oct, and vote in protest.

  3. Christina Avatar

    I wouldn’t condemn common law outright. Many of us have learned a lot in this last year about history, spelling, legalese, statutes, legislation without having to use it to an extreme degree. I don’t believe the writer really inner stands the true purpose behind learning all the variety of our legal and lawful system to gain the knowledge of personal empowerment. I am disheartened by VFF’s response and would have assumed whatever our freedom family is learning surely it is for our betterment or would you prefer we stayed with the status quo system?

  4. Stephan Hokke Avatar
    Stephan Hokke

    We have an innate sense of what is right and what is wrong. I find this recorded in the teachings of Yahshuah Ha’Mashiach aka Jesus, and woven in the Old Testament within the stories therein. It could be called God’s Law but one must take care to separate that from what the organized religions tell us by the due diligence of reading the Bible for yourself. God’s Law contains the dimension of Spirit and common law might not, albeit of groups who might include Judeo-Christians. There are jurisdictions. It seems one should know which jurisdiction you are entering or declare your own choice before speaking into it. Would this requires you study them all so as to be able to properly conduct yourself in any one of them? I know who my King is. Therefore I hold his Law as Supreme Law. I suggest other Law must be known of as it is man’s law held in by force and knowing it well allows you to navigate through those jurisdictions safely. This is why we should know Common law, Maritime law, Constitutional law, International law, etc. Each has its own jurisdiction.

  5. Stephen Avatar

    To get to common law we must first realise that common law is based on the bible.
    People have been taught it is “do not kill” BUT this was changed from “thou shalt not murder”
    In short – we need to pass through a period of natural law with justice to actually get to common law.
    Check out the laws in the bible – not fluffy stuff that people are led to believe.
    We are at war with evil and it will be fought accordingly.

    1. Bill Avatar

      Common Law is not base on the bible but on Germanic customary law via the Anglo-Saxons and the Franks > Normans.

  6. Steve Hobson Avatar

    The question that I have is, “How do you fix a broken and corrupt system with a broken and corrupt system?” Certainly one has to try, in my opinion, as parallel ways of living (outside the system) will, I suspect, be scooped up and scattered if those in Govt see them gaining traction. Tactical voting (see Voters United) will help. Ultimately one has to ask oneself where their individual line in the sand lies and what are the consequences of it being crossed by those “just following orders”, Keep up your good work VFF. You rock! 🙏🏻😜


    Thanks to the author – Charlie and to VFF for publishing this here. It has helped me to make sense of the heretofore indecipherable utterings I’ve received from adherants of common law – which always struck me intuitively as a kind of esoteric gobbledegook.
    So, I don’t want to waste my time and energy on this common law cult.

    Like many others I have lost faith in our system of ‘representative’ democracy.
    The brutal, willful ignoring of protesters at parliament by all 120 politicians and the subsequent state sanctioned police thuggery, followed by the compassionless IPCA whitewashing of those events showed me enough to know that our incumbent political ‘representatives’ are morally bankrupt.
    There’s much more, but I’m trying to keep this brief.

    I prefer instead to think that our current unrepresentative sytem will sooner or later be superceded by a more direct PARTICIPATORY democracy. Switzerland has something like this whereby at each general election all voters get to decide yay or nay on something like 50 different social/political issues.
    This renders politicians less able to be smooth tongued charismatic ‘representatives’ (sic) of their constituants and more mere uswful debaters of contemporary political issues that the populace listens to then votes on directly through referenda.

    Here are a few rough thoughts I’ve had about our current situation and a signpost to a better direction.

    We live in a nation where there are many thousands of EFTPOS machines. We use these to make many millions of transactions yearly. Very rarely does anything go wrong with this. The intentions of the users are duly registered, recorded and acted upon.

    How hard then would it be for politicians to draw proposed laws from a ballot (they already do) and debate them livestreamed across a designated TV channel and a bunch of online platforms,
    Then for the media and the general population to tune in to such broadcasts at their discretion and in turn debate the issues at home, in clubs, cafes, business meetings etc.
    Then for periodic referenda to take place (just for arguments sake say monthly) by people going to any of thousands of terminals or simply to an app on their phones and voting DIRECTLY for or against a proposal (or abstaining).
    If the vote is a close call, it goes back to the politicians to debate further.
    If it is above a certain threshold it is drafted into law to be confirmed by another terminal/app vote.
    I see no technical reasons this couldn’t happen. Of course there would have to be systems built in to make it secure and avoid it being hijacked, hacking, platform crashing and so on.

    I’d love to see a wider conversation on about these ideas.
    Thanks for inspiring me to share them.

  8. Paul Avatar

    The ‘Common lawyers’ are right when they maintain that in our unfortunate system, governance is by consent. However, they forget, that it is the consent of the majority that matters. The unfortunate consequence of Rousseau’s legacy (power is from the people instead of God) means that with no absolute set of rules to appeal to, the path to tyranny is as simple as paying enough people, to make enough noise, so that the noisy minority, is perceived to be the majority. This gives the politicians the ‘mandate’ to coerce the rest of us.

    The solution: make more noise than them.

  9. John Clarke Avatar
    John Clarke

    I find the work and words of Prof. Dolores Cahill to be exceptionally helpful on this matter. She was charged for speaking to a large gathering during the covid restrictions (on how to stay safe) and was facing 10 years in prison. She walked away, a free woman. She has studied commercial and common law extensively for over 10 years and has a great deal of lived experience in this area. She is on Telegram, and I suggest that doctors and others who have the courage to stand for truth, would be wise to follow her current and past posts where, time and again she references Law and Legal and how to stand as a living man or woman rather than stand as the representative of your fictional strawman. She is an eloquent, engaging, courageous and highly educated woman. You might also want to watch the interview she did with Richard Vobes.

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