Strange Trial of the Sacred Fire

On 9 October 2014 a magistrate issued a certificate of dismissal of two charges of maintaining the fire on the DOGIT in Musgrave Park on 18 December 2012 … this is because, on the first charge, a fire used for cooking is lawful under s6 of the Health Safety and Amenity Local Law Act 2009 because it falls within one of the exceptions of that Act. Something that we have pointed out since the outset. The second charge on 18 dec 2012 was dismissed because it is lawful to bring wood to a fire … there is no prohibition on bringing wood to the DOGIT under Health Safety and Amenity Local Law Act 2009. At the trial this week I requested, through my lawyer, a certificate of dismissal of the charges under s 149 of the Queensland Justices Act to ensure that I could not be charged with those offences at some time in the future. I think that this should be a standard application by activists on political charges where police or council do not submit any evidence. As you all know, on too many occasions it has been the case that activists have turned up in court to hear that police or council are simply not going to present any evidence. And after all the hassle and stress people have left with no statement from the court. s 149 is one way this can be noted and recorded. The dismissal of these charges is a small win but, I think you will agree, a significant one. The magistrate has reserved his decision on the remaining three charges of lighting and maintaining the sacred fire … his decision, and more importantly, his reasons for decision will be crucial in understanding the legal status of the sacred fire on the DOGIT in Musgrave Park … I have published my reasons for this in this article.