The fate of seven Federal politicians with dual citizenship, including Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, is now in the hands of the Court of Australia. A three-day hearing began today. And the judges’ ruling could decide the future of the government.
Andy Strudwick reports.
The High Court is considering whether the MPs breached section 44 of the constitution.
This section bans anyone holding dual citizenships, from sitting in parliament.
The government’s legal team argues only two politicians voluntarily obtained, or retained, dual status.
And they’re the ones who should be disqualified.
The other five, including Mr Joyce and two Government Senators, were unaware of their possible breach, and should not be barred.
The Court could bring in a result as early as Thursday.
Lorraine Finlay, Murdoch University Law Lecturer: “Only the justices know for sure but we can look to the recent same sex postal survey decision by the High Court to give us some guidance and in that case the High Court heard the matter and the very next day they gave their decisions but then it was a further three weeks before they handed down their reasons for that decision.”
If the court rules against the politicians, that could put the Turnbull Government’s majority at risk.
And with the new Parliamentary session starting next week, the Government will be hoping they get a favourable result and fast.
Andy Strudwick, QUT News.