On Wed, 9 May 2018 17:35:30 +1000, Pelican
Post by Pelican
The High Court has decided that latest section 44 case, concerning Katie
Gallagher. The report is here -
As was expected, she lost. None of the judges gave her any lee-way. It
was a common garden variety of the application of section 44 to someone
who failed to do what was necessary to meet the requirements of section
44. The judges have made it clear that such people deserve no sympathy.
There was some discussion of the fantasy by which a mischievous country
could impose its citizenship on an Australian citizen, or the difficulty
an Australian citizen might have in renouncing the citizenship of
another country. Neither applied in this case, which was abundantly clear.
In the situation where a mischievous country did impose its citizenship
on an Australian citizen, there is now the possibility that the court
could find that the relevant law of the country would not be recognised
by Australian courts because the country would be in breach of
international law. This situation is, however, still in the area of
fantasy. Even in the case of Russia,
Is New Zealand a mischievous country?
Section 44(i) of the Australian Constitution says that a person is
incapable of being elected to the Senate or the House of
Representatives or sitting as a member of either house, if they are "a
subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a
subject or a citizen of a foreign power".
Let's break that down.
If you are "entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject ... of a
foreign power", you are ineligible to be elected to, or to serve in,
Federal Parliament. You don't have to have the rights and privileges
of a subject of a foreign power -- you just have to be entitled to
those rights and privileges.
Now, consider the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, a country
consisting of two tiny islands in the Caribbean Sea, remote from
Australia, with a population smaller than Bathurst's. Under s. 44 of
our Constitution, it is a "foreign power" (you don't have to be
powerful to be a foreign power, just foreign).
Suppose that Saint Kitts and Nevis tomorrow amended its citizenship
laws so that every Australian citizen was entitled to the rights and
privileges of a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Result? Because of
s. 44, all members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate
would be rendered incapable of sitting in Federal Parliament. And,
nobody would be capable of being elected to either house of Parliament
to replace them. Section 44 of the Constitution thus has the weird
effect of making eligibility to be elected to and serve in the
Australian Parliament dependent on the citizenship law of other
countries -- all 195 of them.
Your example is utterly hypothetical, you say. Absurd, you say. Could
never happen, you say.
Guess what? Much closer to home, under recent and little-noticed
changes to New Zealand law, Australian citizens now don't need a visa
to live, study or work in the Land of the Long White Cloud. That's
right: Any Australian citizen is entitled to live, study and work
That means we're ALL entitled to the rights and privileges of a
subject of New Zealand -- not a citizen, with the attached rights and
privileges such as voting -- but to be a subject of that country,
living there, subject to New Zealand law, working or studying. And
there's no doubt that New Zealand is a "foreign power" -- you only
have to watch the All Blacks do the haka to realise that.
What does this mean?
New Zealand law has made every Australian citizen incapable of being
elected to, or serving in, the Australian Parliament. It's not just
Barnaby Joyce: It's everyone!
The S44 riot act is
To be a Federal politician
you must be born in Australia to Australian born parents