They say ‘‘if you can’t beat them, join them’’, but Julius Kudrynski was never one to do things by the book.
In the latest chapter of a decades-long stoush with Wollongong City Council over unapproved structures in his backyard, Mr Kudrynski is looking at the extraordinary step of seceding from Australia, declaring his West Wollongong home a country unto itself, and fighting council in the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
‘‘I have no choice but to go to the International Court and the only way to do that is to declare myself a micronation,’’ Mr Kudrynski said.
‘‘I’ve been thinking about it for a few years. I’ve been upset for a long time, society is becoming more decrepit and unliveable.''
He hopes to refashion his property into The Bible Based Christians of The Call, or The BBCC, with a constitution based on the Christian bible.
He said his status as a micronation would let him appeal to the International Court, which only hears matters brought by nations, not individuals.
‘‘I’ve been thinking about it for a few years. I’ve been upset for a long time, society is becoming more decrepit and unliveable,’’ he said.
‘‘Australian society is falling apart, with drugs, alcohol and paedophilia. I am seeking legal advice now on the actual process [of becoming a micronation].’’
Mr Kudrynski, a retired TAFE teacher in chemistry and computing, has a yard filled with trinkets. Piles of lawnmowers and stacks of fridges, nuts and bolts and golf balls, an archery range in his carport and a 30-metre swimming pool in his shed make his backyard his castle.
His battles with council over disputed structures built in his backyard – including, over the years, a large slippery dip into his pool and carport additions – have raged since the 1970s, the latest clash in May taking Mr Kudrynski all the way to the High Court.
He said ‘‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’’ was a council and police raid on his property on Thursday.
‘‘I am halfway through a clean-up, they know that. Why bring police to break my door down?’’ he said.
Mr Kudrynski claimed the council visit was unannounced and he had been granted more time to clean his yard, but a council spokesman said officers were within their rights.
‘‘Following orders of the Land and Environment Court ruling from January 2013, council and NSW Police this week completed a search of the premises,’’ the spokesman said.
Kingdoms of Nowhere legal fiction
MR Kudrynski’s quest is unconventional, but it is far from pioneering. Around 35 declared micronations exist in Australia, with one on the Illawarra’s doorstep and at least one more having previously existed nearby.
The Principality of Dubeldeka, near Mittagong, is a 0.03 square kilometre kingdom of two, ruled by Prince Vasudeo Khandekar and Princess Doreen Khandekar. According to its website, it “was acknowledged by the Govenor-General of Australia in October 2000,” has no income tax, low business tax, and is seeking recognition from the United Nations.
“We’ve been persecuted by council for years,” said Ms Khandekar.
Media reports at the time of Dubeldeka’s secession from Australia suggest a dispute over a sewer pipe sparked the kingdom’s independence movement.
The Principality of Little Scotland was a short-lived micronation created near Kangaroo Valley in 1977, with the Munro family seceding from Australia and claiming their one square kilometre acreage an independent nation. The principality dissolved in 1978 after the family died in a car crash in Switzerland.
Other NSW micronations claim to exist in Potts Point, Mudgee, Warragamba and Mosman, but University of NSW constitutional law expert Professor George Williams said such a concept has little legal base.
“It can’t be done. There is no legal route for a micronation to exist,” Prof Williams said.
“Everyone must obey the law, nobody can ‘leave’ the country. People can make themselves a monarch in their own home, but nobody has the right to secede.”
Prof Williams said Mr Kudrynski’s quest will likely be fruitless.
“There is no provision in the constitution to do it. It is a legal fiction,” he said.
“People can say whatever they want, but don’t pretend there is any recognition for such things under Australian or international law.”
Australia leading the world in micronations
Hutt River: The great grandaddy of Australian micronations. Declared in 1970 by farmer Leonard George Casley, 517 kilometres north of Perth, in response to government attempts to enforce a quota on how much wheat he could sell. Declared war on Australia for a few days in 1977. Maintains its own currency, and says citizens are non-Australian residents for tax purposes.
Aeterna Lucina: Founded outside Cooma by Supreme Baron Neuman of Kara Bagh, the "state's" Supreme Lord.
The baron, holder of 850 honours and 18 honorary doctorates, faced court in 1989 relating to the legitimacy of land titles issued in the "spiritual and idealistic state".
Dubeldeka: Established by Vasudeo and Doreen Khandekar at Braemar Lodge near Mittagong. They say it was acknowledged by the Governor-General in 2000. Website says "sharing all of its borders with Australia, the Principality of Dubeldeka enjoys strong economic ties with this country".
Atlantium: Not strictly a micronation, the Empire of Atlantium is a "self-declared primarily non-territorial sovereign entity and proto-world state that asserts immanent, parallel global sovereignty". Based within NSW, its philosophy is that people should be able to choose their country of citizenship.
Wy: Artists' principality based in Mosman. "Seceded" after a dispute with Mosman council and declared a principality in 2004. Paul Ashton Delprat is the Prince of Wy.