Sir Frank Kitto Public Lecture

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May 18, 2018 @ 1:00 pm
JP Belshaw Lecture Theatre (LT1), Wing 40 - Economics, Business and Law Building
Trevenna Road
University of New England.
02 6773 2091

Dual Nationality and the Constitution. Do we need to amend the Constitution? – Hosted by the School of Law, UNE

In this public talk Michael Kirby AC CMG, a past Justice of the High Court of Australia, will explain the language and meaning of the provisions of the Australian Constitution, section 44 (i) disqualifying for election or participation in our Federal Parliament (House of Representatives or Senate) of any person who ‘is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or an adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power.’

Back in 1900, when the Constitution was adopted, there was no way hat the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand or other realms of the British Crown could be regarded as a “foreign power”. So what happened on the way to recent decisions that led to the disqualification of members of the Federal Parliament, and in particular those who were nationals of the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand?