If I understand you correctly, the equity jurisdiction of the trust also places it under the jurisdiction of the territorial and municipal courts, n’est-ce pas?
First, where did you get the idea that the Natural Law Trust is under any jurisdiction? Wouldn’t it be rather contradictory for us to refer to it as “sovereign” and at the same time say it is under some manmade governmental jurisdiction? Let’s analyze the only sentence in the indenture that applies to this:
“Its existence, validity, and authority are from the unalienable right to contract, under the common law as it exists in the
The first thing you need to know about this is you can replace that sentence with any jurisdictional statement that you wish. The point is to satisfy the requirement to state under what kind of body of law it exists. The above sentence basically avoids placing the trust under ANY particular body of law, because the “unalienable right to contract” is pretty much universal. In 1954, the Uniform Commercial Code became the international standard umbrella under which all other laws operate, and the UCC is basically contract law. In addition, the unalienable right to contract is affirmed in numerous US Supreme Court cases. The most famous of these is Hale vs. Henkle of 1905 – – one of the most quoted court cases in history, which has never been overturned.
Our partner Mark Emery of Lighthouse Law Club has a trust almost identical to our Natural Law Trust, and one of its only differences is that it states its authority is the British Common Law as practiced in the country of Anguilla, and flies the flag of Anguilla on its cover. So you can see that any geographic location that the trust operator considers to be harmonious with its purposes can be cited. But in all cases, the indenture sentence says that the trust “needs no permission or franchise from the state to exist or function.”
So being, the only thing that could ever be litigated in any jurisdiction would be the actions of the trust officers – – not the trust itself. The trust itself has never been penetrated or invalidated anywhere, and in fact cannot be invalidated. Only the actions of its officers could be challenged in litigation. While we are not aware of any of our trust clients ever having had that happen either, the point is, only the actions of the officers could be subject to a court action – – not the validity of the trust itself.
[The preceding Q&A were published in the 3-08-19 and the 3-12-19 BIC newsletters]