DISBARRED The Series Part 5: Bruce Clark

During his rabble-rousing career Bruce Clark was hailed as a brilliant lawyer and a scholarly leader in the area of aboriginal rights in Canada. He was also called a “disgrace to the bar” by former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Antonio Lamer.

Clark distinguished himself by attaining a law degree, a masters in law, as well as a doctorate. He had a general practice in small-town Ontario, Canada, and acquired all the accoutrements of success including wife and children, a lovely home and farm, multiple motor vehicles, a private plane and a very comfortable lifestyle.

He gave up his gentleman-lawyer life to become an outspoken advocate for native rights in Canada and around the globe. During his doctoral studies he developed a proposition of law based on a Privy Council decision in 1704 that concerned an indian band in the British colony of Connecticut.

England’s Privy Council (the highest court in Britain) decided there was an intrinsic bias in the British courts against native land claims and a special constitutional court should be convened to deal with the issue of the expropriation of land owned by the Mohegan Indians. That court was never convened and the natives lost their lands. The decision was long-forgotten until Clark resurrected it arguing that most of North America belonged to the natives who had been stripped of their land by imperialist governments, contrary to the legal decision in 1704.

In his journey to notoriety, the 1995 Gustafsen Lake stand-off in British Columbia proved to be life changing for Mr. Clark. The Gustafsen Lake property in the Okanagan was owned by Lyle James, who was a 70 year old farmer at the time of the controversy. For years, the Shushwap aboriginals has received permission from Mr. James to hold annual ceremonial rituals on his land, which to the natives was sacred ground.

In 1995 a group of natives overstayed their welcome and were apparently offended by ranch hands who sought to remove them from the James property. Under Mr. Clark’s tutelage, the aboriginals staged a protest on the site which turned into a month long armed siege against authorities.

Hundreds of armed police officers with intimidating military equipment, helicoptors and vehicles ended the stand-off in a hail of bullets. Fortunately, no aboriginals were seriously injured, but multiple arrests were made including charges of attempted murder.

Mr. Clark acted for several of the defendants before he was cited for contempt of court for referring to the criminal trial as a “kangaroo court” while engaging in a scuffle with a courtroom sheriff.

It is reported that he made his 1704 Privy Council argument at least forty times but was never successful. He finally had a chance to argue the proposition in the Supreme Court of Canada but spent most of his sixty minute time allotment disparaging the learned judges of the court as “treasonous, fraudulent and perpetrators of genocide”. It was not well received.

In the meantime, after Clark’s contempt conviction, he fled Canada and resided in Europe, returning to Canada eighteen months later.

It was as a result of the Gustafsen contempt order and his tirade in the Supreme Court of Canada that the Ontario Law Society disbarred him on the basis that he was “unfit and ungovernable”.

Mr. Clark’s unbridled passion for native rights and his undisciplined court room tactics did nothing to enhance his professional reputation or his personal circumstances. It was reported that he spent many years thereafter drifting from one native reserve to another, far removed from the life of prosperity he once enjoyed.

In the end, his legal argument was referred to as “a legal proposition in search of a client.” He was a legal maverick who lost his way.

Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang

31 thoughts on “DISBARRED The Series Part 5: Bruce Clark

  1. That doesn’t sound enough to disbar him, unless he had the same pattern for years and had been repeatedly warned. It sounds as though he was under severe stress by the time he reached the Supreme Court, and then the emotion took over. Of course he should have instructed someone else to appear and present the argument, if he was in that state. But in itself it doesn’t add up to disbarment. And it leaves one wondering whether, having allowed himself to be vulnerable because of his difficulties with self control, he was actually targeted because he was a thorn in the side of the government and no doubt also his fellow lawyers. I wonder whether anyone ever investigated his mental health and whether a bit of TLC (or treatment or management measures, if it turned out he had, say, Asperger’s) would have rectified the problem in a less draconian way.

  2. Cheryl I think his disbarment took into account his active encouragement of civil disobedience that turned into a volatile situation that resulted in criminal charges. The peaceful demonstration at Gustafsen Lake became an armed stand-off as the aboriginal activists were armed as well.

    As well, after Mr. Clark was convicted of contempt of court, he fled the country to avoid the sentencing consequences. All of this behavior factored into the Law Society’s decision. There were also many other instances of disrespect for the court. You may wish to read the Reasons of the Law Society of Upper Canada with respect to their decision on Mr. Clark.

    Thank you for reading and keep the comments coming.

    Best regards,

    Georgialee Lang

    1. Dear Georgialee:

      Would you not agree that your comment about me supposedly encouraging civil disobedience is true only if the protests that I encouraged were in contravention of the law?

      The legal point is that the commerce, defence and treaty clauses of the constitution confirm the continuity of tribal sovereignty until a constitutional amendment modifies that supreme law. Protesting the treasonable, fraudulent and genocidal overturning of the constitution is a duty under the law not disobedience against it.

      The Indian Act of 1876 intends such a repeal but has no force and effect, as law, precisely because of its manifest conflict with the constitution. In essence this raises the constitutional question of imperialism. The legal system imperialistically encourages civil disobedience against the constitution upon the basis of void, because conflicting, domestic legislation and conventional wisdom.

      It is false to say that I fled the country to avoid sentencing. I fled to be in the International Court of Justice with regard to preventing the genocide that is caused by imperialism in general and Canadian imperialism against the tribes in particular. When that process had been exhausted, I returned and invited my trial and sentencing.

      The Law Society did not address the constitutional law any more than did the judge who convicted and sentenced me for “hectoring the courts” with a point of law that, he said, had been dealt with on the merits by every of the some 40 judges before whom I previously had raised it. He said even the Supreme Court of Canada had addressed it, yet on the Friday before the Monday September 15, 1995, the Supreme Court once again refused to address the conflict of laws.

      On Friday the Supreme Court said I was presenting a case of first instance in Canada and that I could return and raise in British Columbia “tomorrow.” When I did that the judge in British Columbia cited me for contempt for hectoring him with a disposed of issue.

      The Law Society disbarred me on the ground I was a convicted criminal and refused to consider the legitimacy of the conviction. The Supreme Court that knows perfectly well that the issue of law has not been addressed refused to grant leave to appeal.


      1. Your situation makes my situation look pleasant. I only lost my practice (after my legal-aid approvals were cancelled), my self-confidence, and (temporarily) some of my health. I have scant sympathy for anti-imperialist arguments and I have considerable sympathy for the law society’s attitude towards your conduct (given the prevailing perceptions). I would have thought your situation was ripe for mediation, and for finding a way to allow your arguments to be fully tested. Lawyers who have the guts to stand up for principle, at the cost of their own self-interest, should be applauded rather than condemned.

      2. Dear Cheryl:

        Thanks for your reply. I am saddened to learn of your own mistreatment.

        I am curious about why you “have scant sympathy for anti-imperialist arguments.”

        If the constitution is anti-imperialist, as I believe amply is established as a matter of law alone at http://mightisnotright.org/, why would you be antagonistic toward either the constitution or me for that matter for pointing it out?

        I can well understand that there may be cogent political arguments in favour of imperialism, by the good and tolerant. Such arguments are the basis for the currently popular R2P or Responsibility to Protect, just as they once were for the WMB or White Man’s Burden. They are available to anyone who wishes to amend the constitution to repeal its anti-imperial sections, of course, but surely they are not relevant in ascertaining what the constitution establishes as “the law” pending such an amendment.

        Secondly, Cheryl, you say that you “have considerable sympathy for the law society’s attitude towards your conduct (given the prevailing perceptions)…”

        I was not criminalized and disabarred for “conduct” but for what I was “saying.” I said the judges and lawyers are engaged in the absolute offences of “Misprision of Treason” and “Fraud” within the meaning of the Royal Proclamation of 1763; and, secondly, the crime, for which mens rea is required, of genocide within the meaning of Article 2(b) of the genocide convention, that being the article concerned with the intentional or culpably indifferent inflicting of “serious bodily or mental harm,” which itself is a reasonably foreseeable, probable and indeed actual and ongoing form of genocide against the tribalist sub-culture of Indian society in particular.

        This distinction between conduct and speech is crucial and quite clear on the record. I was persecuted to stop me making legally irrebuttable accusations. Precisely because the issue can not be rebutted in court is the reason it has never been addressed by any judge. If it has been addressed there would be a record.

        Finally you suggest my “situation was ripe for mediation, and for finding a way to allow your arguments to be fully tested.” To me, Cheryl, court proceedings not mediation is the way to go for strictly legal arguments of jurisdictional law alone.

        All the best to you,
        P.S.: Please see my Blog at http://mightisnotright.org/contact-and-blog.php for elaboration upon and justification of the above allegations of fact and law. Thanks.

    2. Georgialee, When I knew Bruce Clark in the 70’s, when he was leading the Bear Island Band’s Temagami Land claim. it wasn’t that he was under stress, it was because he was very often under the influence of alcohol. He started out doing well in registering the land claim, but eventually became unmanageable and an embarrassment to his clients.

  3. Bruce Clark wrote a book of his exploits entitled “Justice in Paradise” (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1999). I reviewed it in the Advocate (2001) 59: 952-54 with the opening line: “There is such a thin line between clever and stupid.” Clark simultaneously proposes that no court has jurisdiction in Canada to determine aboriginal rights but that those courts have jurisdiction to refer the matter to a non-existent tribunal of Queen Anne’s established in 1704 on the basis that they are the “guardians of the sacred trust of civilization.”

    1. Dear Michael:
      Upon what do rely in support of the adjective “non-existent” with reference to the Standing Committee of the Privy Council constituted by Order in Council of Queen Anne in 1704? The Royal Proclamation of 1763 is also an Order in Council. Such documents were the colonial constitution and they remain in force until repealed by a constitutional amendment.

  4. Leslie : I understand that Dr. Clark now lives in Ottawa. I have seen articles written by him in 2008 and 2009 on a website called Dissident Voices.

    Michael : Thanks for the information. Your opening line was spot on. I’ll check out your review in the Advocate Archives.

    Best regards, Georgialee Lang

  5. Mr. Clark is hardly a broken, wandering idiot. I have no idea what you are trying to prove, but you are still uninformed at the very least.

    1. Dear Opponent:
      Who wouldn’t be a “broken wandering idiot” after the injustice of a legal system that has converted the rule of law into a genocidal criminal weapon? Besides, even broken idiots can tell the truth and, if Emerson is right that truth is the summit of being and justice is the application of it to affairs, then maybe that excuses the wandering and idiocy. Upon what do you rely to prove my legal point is not true? Or do you care one way or the other?
      Bruce “Broken Wondering Idiot” Clark

  6. Dear “Opponent”

    You make a bold statement but provide no information to rebut the comments in my article. Tell us what you know about Mr. Clark currently and how you know it.

    Best regards, Lawdiva

    1. Dear Troy:
      Nothing ever happened to it. That is the legal point. It is constituted specifically as a “Standing Committee of the Privy Council” by an Order in Council signed by Queen Anne. As such, it carries the same force and effect as any other act in virtue of the royal prerogative to enact constitutional law with regard to overseas dominions, such as the Royal Proclamation of the 1763. Such legislation persists until repealed either by a statute of the Parliament of the United Kingdom or, arguably, since 1982, by a constitutional amendment pursuant to the Canada Act, 1982. See, Campbell v. Hall (1774). See also, http://mightisnotright.org/.

  7. Bruce Clark had the misfortunate of tangling with Antiono Lamer at the Supreme Court of Canada.

    We have personal knolwedge of how dirty the Supreme Court of Canada was under Antonio Lamer and some of that knowledge isposted on our web site the http://www.waterwarcrimes.com

    Canada has some very very serious problems with judicial and legal corruption. Bruce Clark is but one example.

    Readers are encouraged to also visit:

    http://drkuntz.blogspot.com A sad tale of the destuction of a brilliant doctor by the legla and judicial mafia in British Columbia through the use of a fraudulent class action lawsuit.

    http://karleisbrenner.blogspot.com A sad tale of the destrouction of a brilliant lawyer who was helpijng 188 seniors by the Gordon Campbell gang and a dirty psychiatrist in Vancouver.

    http://www.revenuecanda666.com A tale of case fixing by Freemasons judges in British Columbia that is being covered up by the Supreme Court of Canada.

  8. What nonsense. This all becomes easily explainable once one knows the blogger is a member of the Brutish KKKolumbia legal fraternity whose ongoing frauds, treasons and complicity in genocide, Bruce Clark’s work so fundamentally challenges. For anyone seriously interested in truth instead of trash, read Clark’s ‘Justice in Paradise’

    1. May I add something, from New Zealand? I have just (finally) been cleared by the NZ Lawyers Disciplinary Tribunal, of charges arising from a 2009 complaint that I was allowing non-lawyer employees to breach the law relating to what work may or may not be done by non-lawyers. Not only the ‘investigating’ committee, but also the Legal Services Agency (administering legal aid), textbook writers, academics, trainers, and other supposed experts in the law, have all misrepresented what the New Zealand law on the subject actually says. Not surprisingly, they all think I am mad or bad when I say or do something else – until something occurs that forces them to check the law properly (e.g. submissions to a disciplinary tribunal, or action in the Court of Appeal). From this experience – which until it happened to me, I would have thought was impossible – I sympathise with Bruce Clark because if he has an arguable case then he should be allowed to argue it even if it is unpopular, eccentric, or inconceivable within the prevailing culture.

      1. Dear New Zealander:

        The Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario) in 1996 refused an earlier attempt to disbar me on 23 counts of “ungovernable conduct” and “conduct unbecoming a solicitor” for seeking to argue the constitutional legislation and precedents that constitute the basis for my clients’ allegation of judicial treason, fraud and genocide submission.

        The submission was not that the presiding judge had committed those crimes but that if he or she were to assume jurisdiction, in willful blindness to the outstanding and constitutionally-critical constitutional question of jurisdictional law alone of tribal territorial sovereignty, the answer to which indicts every judge’s assumption of jurisdiction, he or she would by operation of law alone commit the identified crimes.

        In 1996 the Law Society held I was entitled to keep raising the constitutional question on behalf of my Indian tribal clients who wanted to assert their constitutional right of territorial sovereignty free of white judges on their unceded land for exactly and precisely the same reason as you so eloquently defended in your answer to Cheryl. It told me I was free to do this until “at least some judge has addressed the issue” since “the genocide, of which Mr Clark speaks is real” and this is an issue that is not only “constitutionally critical” but “affects all of us.”

        The following year, 1997, a provincial court judge in British Columbia convicted me of criminal contempt in the face of the court in 1995 on the grounds first that
        the Law Society was wrong when it said no court has addressed the issue since every of the some 40 courts in which In raised the question answered it after listening “carefully and patiently” and having given cogent reasons for judgment disabusing me of my error of law alone, including the Supreme Court of Canada itself.

        That conviction related to an appearance in B.C. on September 15, 1995, on behalf of previous Indian tribalist clients charged and set to be tried by a white judge on their own unceded sovereign territory for an offence allegedly committed there against a white man in occupation due to a fraudulent government grant. Their legal duty was to raise the jurisdiction question at first opportunity.

        On September 12, 1995, three 3 days before the hearing in B.C. I was before the Supreme Court of Canada in another case in which I was attempting to get that Court to address the same constitutional question. It declined in that case, on the ground the question presented a case of first instance. It held no trial or appeal court in Canada had ever addressed the question, and, correspondingly, the Supreme Court did not have the benefit of lower court reasons for judgement.

        “The question is a constitutional one…It is of critical importance,” said Chief Justice Lamer. “You are free to return to British Columbia tomorrow” to raise it so the highest Court would have a record with which to work.

        So in 1995 the judge cited me for a procedure authorized and directed by the supreme court three days before and subsequently approved by the Law Society, and, then in 1997 he convicted and imprisoned me on the ground those authorities are wrong. This judge cited no reported or unreported reasons for judgment, no evidence was adduced before, the “fact” simply sprung from his imagination.

        Eventually the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal, in fully informed knowledge of the lie and its disastrous consequence to the principle of constitutional supremacy upon which constitutional democracy rests, and last and of course much much the least me personally.

        Thanks for the expression of empathy, New Zealander.

        Please see the elaboration of these themes at my website’s brand new Blog available at: http://mightisnotright.org/contact-and-blog.php.


  9. Dear Lawdiva:

    Your article contains a critical and unfair error of fact. You say, “He [Bruce Clark] finally had a chance to argue the proposition in the Supreme Court of Canada but spent most of his sixty minute time allotment disparaging the learned judges of the court as “treasonous, fraudulent and perpetrators of genocide.”

    The source of your error is that on September 12, 1995, I acted on behalf of one of the several plaintiffs in the Delgamuukx case on its appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada to the extent only of bringing a motion objecting to the Court’s jurisdiction on the ground of indigenous sovereignty. The Court declined to hear the motion. That is all. That is a far cry from agreeing to hear the motion by addressing the issue of native sovereignty on its merits, as you statement states.

    There are some cosmetic errors as well. “Treasonous” is not a word and certainly not one that I have used so far as I can recall. I said “treasonable.” I talked for perhaps 10 minutes not an hour. I did not “disparage” them; rather, I informed them that judicial willful blindness to the critical constitutional question of imperialism is treasonable, fraudulent and genocidal as a matter of constitutional and international law alone. And I offered to read to them the sections of the legislation and precedents that establish the truth of the allegation, which the Court refused to hear, then remarking the allegation itself self evidently is “preposterous.” The allegation is the entire, and defensible, legal point that has to be addressed, not a sideline personal indiscretion of expression or hyperbole.

    There is a manifest conflict of laws between the commerce, defence and treaty clauses of the constitution which, read together, secure native territorial sovereignty against the invasion perpetrated pursuant to the federal imperial statute the Indian Act of 1876 and all in its train. That unconstitutional domestic statutory regime is modeled on the America Appropriations Act of 1871. Since Canada follows where the USA leads the crucial forum is the Supreme Court of the United States. Therefore, for a more balanced and complete statement of what I was and am doing please consider the website http://mightisnotright.org/.

    Thank you for remembering me, in any event.

    Bruce Clark

  10. Bruce Thank you for taking the time to address my post and the comments of interested readers. Your career has truly been remarkable and I applaud you for the courage you have shown in advancing your positions.

    I apologize if I have made errors in my blog. The longer I practice law, the more I identify with your struggles with our justice system and in my field of practice,(family law) am reeling with the absolute breakdown of the system, affecting scores of children, parents and spouses in Canada.

    I look forward to reading your book “Justice in Paradise” and I wish you well. If you are ever in Vancouver, I would love to meet you. Best regards, Georgialee aka Lawdiva

    1. Hi Georgialee. Please drop in to say hello to Margaret and me when next you are in Ottawa. It is unlikely we will be in Vancouver. Yours, Bruce

  11. Interesting that Georgia-lee has experienced difficulties in the family-court system in Canada. Significant issues also exist in New Zealand, where I have been practising family law. (A review of the Family Courts here is currently under way.) Re Bruce Clark (and also my own experience) – sometimes dissidents are stupid and lack insight as to fundamental obligations as lawyers. But sometimes they are of above-average intelligence, think outside the square, and (if lawyers) are also obliged by their oath of admission to practise law to the best of their knowledge and ability, even if everyone else disagrees with them, and even if the state is hostile. Those who are in the latter category should be supported and encouraged by the law societies, not hounded from practice.

  12. Dear Lawdiva:

    I just noticed the similarity between the 4th paragraph of your opening Blog and Michael Bain’s comment of December 17, 2010. You said, with regard to the 1704 Royal Standing Sub-Committee of Judicial Committee of the Privy Council constituted by Queen Anne that, “That court was never convened and the natives lost their lands.”
    They did lose their lands but not for that reason.

    Michael said, “Clark simultaneously proposes that no court has jurisdiction in Canada to determine aboriginal rights but that those courts have jurisdiction to refer the matter to a non-existent tribunal of Queen Anne’s established in 1704 on the basis that they are the “guardians of the sacred trust of civilization.” “There is such a thin line between clever and stupid.” I’ve inverted Mike’s two sentences but his point is not affected.

    I obtained and read certified true photocopies from the Public Record Office in London of the original and official Order in Council. A search also revealed it has not been repealed. As intended by its own terms of legal art the Order in constitutional continuity and perpetuity constituted a trial-level court for the disposition of border disputes between the colonies and Indian tribes as states possessed of counter-balanced and competing territorial sovereignties.

    The real scholarship in discovering the document was the late Columbia Law School Professor Joseph Smith, Appeals to the Privy Council from the American Plantations, New York: Columbia University Press, 1950. I wrote of him and quoted his wisdom in Justice in Paradise about the 1704 Standing Committee Order’s significance to colonial constitutional law: this Order secured the Indian tribe’s right to third-party court protection with regard to territorial sovereignty border disputes between royal colonies, foreign nations and Indian tribes, all being equally sovereign states.

    As to the USA, that third-party adjudication court became the Supreme Court of the United States pursuant to the constitution’s original jurisdiction clause. As to Canada the jurisdiction remains vested in the 1704 Standing Committee. As a SUB-committee, its has no administration separate and apart from that of the committee for which it subs.

    The Report of Attorney General Lord Northy, who recommended the creation of the Standing Committee, argued that if ever the third-party jurisdiction is usurped by one of the contesting state parties, justice can never be seen to be done, hence the structural necessity of this remedy to the existence of constitutional democracy under the rule of law. The US Supreme Court made the same observation in Madison v. Marbury (1803).

    Both Michael and you Lawdiva drank from the same well of common knowledge, the conventional wisdom built upon a lie repeated often enough. Why trouble with primary sources when the secondary ones are so certain that everyone knows. Its not just another life like mine gets drowned by the lie and the lying but that the genocide attributable to empire continues.

    Our time may be the last time there is time to make “never again” the truth. All we had to do was let it in, have let the people’s constitution rule, in the peace its anti-imperialism would secure, in place of the empire’s non-opposers and the resulting military financial technological complex. The genocide will continue if for no other reason it is a reasonably foreseeable, probable and indeed inevitable and actual consequence of the ecocide of the imperial way.

    That is why I “hector” the courts. It is their duty and responsibility to solve this terrible problem and only they have the jurisdiction to do it immediately, meaning, just in time.

    All the best,

  13. If we recognize the parties to treaties in Turtle Island North of the 49th // as possessing jurisdiction to enter into this contract of sale of land; and, we further, therein, search for paramount authorities; do we find any reference in those “sales” of a clause that establishes the right of the purchaser to usurp the prevailing governing bodies by the establishment of contrary governing authorities. I.E, are “Douglas Treaties” a relinquishment of governing authority any more so than the Crown relinquishing to me when I “buy” the lot upon which to erect my house or plant my crop ?

    Certainly, there was never any evident “meeting of minds” on the substantive terms and conditions of these “sales” / treaties; and, the “sale” was never consumated by the exchange of consideration … and, my understanding is that each “treaty” contained a conditional right to void through the Two Row Wampum principle (i.e., that the “canoe” could be recalled and withdrawn by the original host nation for breach of conditions – Elizabeth II may be in breach of the Coronation Oath regarding her reign during the Indian Residential and Day School victimizations).

    It is not clearly apparent that private companies, such as HBC, were provided chartered authority to purchase lands and commence to govern such territoriies; as opposed to being limited to search and discover new trade agreements. – in particular, when you consider the impact at the time of the Romanus Pontifex and Inter Caetera Papal Bulls.

    Sovereign, non-treatied Original Peoples nations on the west coast are discovering that they may proceed to invite many international actors to step forward to discuss entering into trade relations; as opposed to relinquishing governing rights through treaties with Elizabeth II; who may be harbouring “unjust enrichment” at the expense of victimized children.


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