Supreme Court rules person is entitled to do runner if not under arrest

by: Norrie Ross
From:Herald Sun November 26, 2011

IF the police ask to have a quiet word with you, it’s OK to do a runner, a Supreme Court judge confirmed yesterday.

Justice Stephen Kaye said that a man who bolted when police wanted to speak to him about an unpaid restaurant bill was entitled to make himself scarce, leaving the officers trailing in his wake.

After the judge ruled, the man at the centre of the test case was in no doubt of its importance.

“This decision does for Australian civil liberties what Mabo did for native title,” Andrew Hamilton declared.

The 25-year-old Sydneysider said he was so drunk he couldn’t remember why he ran. But when he sobered up, he knew his rights.

At no point did they say I was under arrest,” he said. “I hadn’t committed a crime . . . I ran because I was just a drunken boor.”

Justice Kaye said it was an ancient principle of the common law that a person not under arrest has no obligation to stop for police, or answer their questions. And there is no statute that removes that right.

“(Mr Hamilton) before being placed under arrest did not have any obligation to stop when requested to do so, or to answer questions asked of him,” the judge said.

The conferring of such a power on a police officer would be a substantial detraction from the fundamental freedoms which have been guaranteed to the citizen by the common law for centuries.”

The judge dismissed a Director of Public Prosecutions appeal against a magistrate’s dismissal of a charge of resisting police.

Mr Hamilton said he was amazed that after the chase began, police in a car and on foot took 600m to catch him.

“I play rugby. I’m a winger, but I’m not a particularly good runner,” he said. “I never thought I’d make it that far when I’m being chased by a car.

“I don’t know why I ran. At the time I was pretty heavily intoxicated . . . it was just lucky I didn’t get run over or shot.”

Mr Hamilton said he spent $9000 fighting the case; but Justice Kaye made a costs order in his favour.

It was established after the incident Mr Hamilton was not responsible for the restaurant bill.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay last night said it was too early to act on the decision.

“We’ll go through the judgment vary carefully, then we’ll decide what we need to do,” he said.


  • What you need to have whilst you’re out is a camcorder or at minimum a voice dictator to record evidence as the revenue collecting/statute enforcers lie constantly. You then let them ramble on with their claptrap first then you inform them of thee real law which is Common Law and your rights, calling on them to act as Police Constables under their Oath. Ask then at this point for their names and Station they’re based at. You then inform them of your right as highlighted in this article and that you’re now about to walk away in peace and honour, but if confronted with yourselves again you will class this as Police harassment which will not only be reported to their local Police Station but also to the IPCC. Remember statutes are color of law, fictional requiring CONSENT and we do NOT consent and its our Lawful right to do so.

    -=The Unhived Mind

  • ‘Pinned to ground by six policemen, because I couldn’t pay my bus fare’

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