02 November 2017

High Court decides question of eligibility for election of dual citizens

On 27 October 2017, the High Court confirmed that any candidate who at the time of their nomination for election was a citizen of a foreign country is not eligible to be chosen to sit as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

The court determined that at the date of their nomination for election, Mr Scott Ludlam, Ms Larissa Waters, Senator Malcolm Roberts and Senator the Honourable Fiona Nash were all disqualified due to their dual citizenship.  The votes that each of these parties received in the 2016 election will now be attributed to the next candidate in the same parties list.  As to the Honourable Barnaby Joyce, Mr Joyce was also found to be disqualified and a by-election will need to be held to fill his vacant position.

Senator Nick Xenophon was not disqualified as his ‘British Overseas Citizenship’ did not entitle him to the rights and privileges of citizenship as he was not permitted to enter and live in the United Kingdom.  Senator the Honourable Matthew Canavan was also held not to be disqualified as whilst he may have been entitled to registration as a citizen of Italy, he was not an Italian citizen at the date of his nomination.

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