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Family ties: Lydia Thorpe’s uncle fails in court bid to have referendum halted

An Indigenous activist’s High Court bid to stop the voice referendum from going ahead has failed.

Oct 13, 2023, updated Oct 13, 2023
Robbie Thorpe talks during a NAIDOC week march in Melbourne, Friday, July 6, 2018. Victorians hit the streets of Melbourne to celebrate the culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and mark the start of NAIDOC Week. (AAP Image/Daniel Pockett) NO ARCHIVING

Robbie Thorpe talks during a NAIDOC week march in Melbourne, Friday, July 6, 2018. Victorians hit the streets of Melbourne to celebrate the culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and mark the start of NAIDOC Week. (AAP Image/Daniel Pockett) NO ARCHIVING

Robbie Thorpe, the uncle of independent senator Lidia Thorpe, sought to argue Saturday’s vote was “an attack on Aboriginal sovereignty”.

Mr Thorpe said in a statement on Friday the denial of sovereignty was causing serious mental harm.

However, Chief Justice Susan Kiefel made a direction under High Court rules which meant Mr Thorpe’s writ was not accepted for filing.

The rule states “if a writ, application, summons, affidavit or other document appears to a registrar on its face to be an abuse of the process of the court, to be frivolous or vexatious or to fall outside the jurisdiction of the court, the registrar may seek the direction of a justice”.

The justice may then direct the registrar to issue or file the document, or to refuse to issue or file the document.

Mr Thorpe has previously sought to charge the Commonwealth with genocide.

13YARN 13 92 76

Aboriginal Counselling Services 0410 539 905

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