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‘King of Everland’ to take his fight to UN

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A FIGHT to get a small plot in Guernsey declared an independent state will move on to the United Nations after the Royal Court ruled against it.

Steve Ogier, the self-proclaimed King of Everland, in the plot of land at Ruette du Frocq, Castel, which he is claiming is an independent country – although the Royal Court ruled against him yesterday. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 22797627)

Everland cannot be considered a state because it does not have a population, Deputy Bailiff Richard McMahon said yesterday, rejecting arguments that earthworms and insects living there meant it did.

Mr McMahon was sitting in the Ordinary Division of the Royal Court to hear an application from the Development & Planning Authority for an injunction against Steve Ogier.

Mr Ogier owns an area of land off Ruette du Frocq and earlier this year he said this was to be known as Everland, and he declared it to be independent and that he was its king.

He wants to build a home for himself on the site and cannot because of planning laws.

Three compliance notices have been issued by Planning since then telling him to stop his activities. These related to excavation work, a dry stone wall and a timber shed.

In court, Mr Ogier argued that under the terms of the Montevideo Convention of 1933 concerning the rights and duties of states, Everland was an independent state and as such he did not recognise the Guernsey court’s jurisdiction.

He argued that even though nobody lived on the land, it could be considered to have a population as a result of the wildlife there, such as insects and earthworms.

After hearing Mr Ogier’s arguments, Mr McMahon retired and on his return said that based on the material he had looked at, he had reached the conclusion that Everland was not a sovereign state, nor a ‘micro nation’.

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The Montevideo Convention referred to a state having a population that was a stable community, which was not the case with Everland.

‘Although there maybe an element of absurdity in the way the argument has been developed by Mr Ogier, I take the view that any challenge to the jurisdiction of this court must be taken seriously,’ said Mr McMahon.

Advocate Robin Gist, representing the DPA, moved ahead with his application for an injunction.

He said its purpose was to prevent Mr Ogier doing any more work and it was borne out of concerns that he might start again at any time.

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However, Mr Ogier said that he was prepared to make a formal undertaking not to proceed with any development on the land. ‘I don’t intend to do any more work until I can prove I am an independent country,’ he said.

Mr McMahon told Mr Ogier that if he breached that undertaking he would be at risk of going to prison.

Advocate Gist said the DPA would accept this undertaking.

Mr Ogier, who gave his address for service as Teran, Robergerie Road, St Sampson’s, asked the court if he could apply to have the compliance notices set aside.

But Mr McMahon said that this would be a matter for a planning appeal.

Mark Ogier

By Mark Ogier
News reporter

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