[Surfside] Mooning is OK, court told (Australia)

Paul Makepeace bookmarks@paulm.com
Wed, 4 Dec 2002 00:18:13 +0000


[full article]

Mooning is OK, court told

November 30 2002
By Dale Paget
Gold Coast

The lawyer for a Brisbane man who flashed his buttocks at a police car
argued in court yesterday that "mooning" was a constitutional right and
a part of the larrikin Australian character.

James Albert Ernest Togo, 20, pleaded not guilty in the Coolangatta
Magistrates Court to indecent behaviour when he "mooned" a police car
soon after midnight on August 12 this year.

The offence, which carries a maximum fine of $100, became a sticky
constitutional issue when Aboriginal legal service lawyer Eugene
O'Sullivan argued "mooning" a police car was a legitimate and legal
means of expression. He said it was a "mild" political act and a protest
against government authority protected under the implied freedoms of the

The court was told Togo was with about 10 other youths when he pulled
his pants down as a police car drove within two metres of the group.

"I got a fairly clear view through the front window," Constable Timothy
Nelson said.

Mr O'Sullivan said the action reflected the irreverent Australian
character which enjoyed poking fun at authority. "The larrikin moon is
of a political nature when it is directed at an authority figure," he

Magistrate Sheryl Cornack adjourned the case until December 13 to allow
time for the federal and state attorneys-general to consider a response.

Paul Makepeace ....................................... http://paulm.com/

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