The Advertiser
Hindmarsh Island bridge activist to pay up
  By Court Reporter SAM WEIR

  ABORIGINAL activist Darrell Sumner faces a hefty legal bill after a
Supreme Court
  judge ruled he should pay defendants' costs in his failed attempt to
  construction of the Hindmarsh Island bridge.

  But Mr Sumner, 54, says he does not have any money to pay the costs,
which are
  expected to run to tens of thousands of dollars.

  "I don't have any dollars so they can do what they have to do," he

  Mr Sumner said he would do it again and his only regret was that the
  might put others off fighting such actions. 

  His lawyer, Ralph Bleechmore, said the law was becoming inaccessible
to the
  average person. "If you can't take on someone who is big without being
  threatened with huge costs what avenue is left?," he said. 

  "If you can't take legal avenues you may be forced to take illegal

  Mr Sumner sued the British Government, the State of South Australia,
  Premier, Cabinet ministers, developers Tom and Wendy Chapman, and
  construction companies. His action was based on a claim that building
the bridge
  constitutes an act of genocide against the Ngarrindjeri people.

  But in April, Justice Margaret Nyland found the claim of genocide was
  as it was not recognised by Australian law and no defendant had any
intention to
  destroy the Ngarrindjeri. 

  She ordered all of Mr Sumner's action be struck out for failure to
disclose a cause
  of action and the defendants applied for costs.

  Mr Sumner argued there should be no order against him for costs and
relied on a
  1998 High Court decision in which no order for costs was made in a
case found to
  be a "public interest" case.

  The defendants argued they had been completely successful in the
litigation and
  there was no reason for the court to depart from the norm in awarding

  Yesterday, Justice Nyland agreed and ordered Mr Sumner pay the costs
of each of
  the defendants.

  She said it was unnecessary to determine whether Mr Sumner's claim
might be
  classified as "public interest" litigation, but said "for an
unsuccessful `public
  interest' litigant to avoid an order for costs, it should at least
present an arguable
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