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The Internationalisation of Pseudolaw: The Growth of Sovereign Citizen Arguments in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand


Harry Hobbs, Stephen Young and Joe McIntyre

Pseudolaw refers to the phenomenon whereby adherents adopt the forms and structures of legal argumentation while substituting the substantive content and underlying principles for a distinct and parallel set of beliefs. In this article, we explore and catalogue the forms of pseudolegal claims made by a particular subset of adherents – the sovereign citizen movement – in one part of the common law world: courts in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Our study demonstrates both the internationalisation of pseudolaw, and that the phenomenon adapts and evolves to suit local legal discourses. We conclude by offering suggestions to respond to pseudolaw.

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2024 47(1) UNSWLJ 309: