Category Archives: law

‘Sovereign’ citizens in the UK: a study in nonsense

There is a group of people in the UK who believe that, by submitting a document to the government, they can detach themselves from society and thereby avoid all statutory responsibilities. They are predominantly male, intelligent, articulate, and for some reason seem to live in the south-west of England. They call themselves ‘sovereign citizens’ or ‘freemen on the land’, and seem to be a small offshoot from a much larger US-based movement (of which more on the excellent Quatloos! forum). I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of them: despite the number of videos on YouTube, they seem to boil down to a few relatively high-profile individuals. In this article I’ll just refer to them as ‘sovereigns’—you know, as if that actually means something—and try to explain why they really, really get my goat.
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