Dual citizenship problem for Australian politicians

PeacefulViking

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The Australian constitution, in seemingly categorical terms, bar people with dual citizenship from being elected to Parliament. Recently two senators had to resign after discovering they were dual citizens. But it did not stop there. Two further senators may be dual citizens and their case has been referred to the High Court.

And most dramatically, the deputy PM Barnaby Jones is a NZ citizen, as was recently discovered. Barnaby Joyce: NZ confirms Australian deputy PM is dual citizen - BBC News

He is a member of the lower house, the House of Representatives, and if he were forced to resign the Government would lose its majority there. His case has been referred to the High Court as well. The government claims they are confident he won't have to resign since he did not know about his Kiwi citizenship, though that has no support in the constitutional text and only dubious support in case law.

Personally, the rule seems silly to me, and think Australia should abolish it, but so far that looks unlikely.
 


GDPR

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For a long time Australians could not have dual citizenship. If you took out another citizenship then you automatically lost your Oz citizenship even if you were born there. That changed in the last decade or so, cannot remember when.

It seems that the law regarding parliamentarians needs to catch up.

It's especially bad, if not silly, when you automatically have dual citizenship, such as the MP who has a NZ dad.
 

General Urko

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Does Leo have dual citizenship?
 

wexfordman

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ruserious

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Does Leo have dual citizenship?
Probably not. Indians lose their citizenship upon taking up citizenship in a new country. He may be entitled to Overseas Indian Citizenship which is another thing.
 

PeacefulViking

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This was a particularly silly example:

Australian senator resigns after discovering she’s a Canadian citizen | Globalnews.ca

She should have been allowed to just renounce a citizenship she was never aware of.
Indeed, that is what the deputy PM is hoping will be acceptable for him. He was born in Australia but is a NZ citizen because his father was from NZ. I don't see a huge difference between their cases, citizenship by descent is probably as common worldwide as citizenship for anyone born in a country.
 

stray creditor

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Sure half Australia would be entitled to British citizenship, three-quarters to some form of overseas citizenship.

It is fine for them to insist that sitting parliamentarians are Australian citizens and not holding another passport
but the cases described are extreme.
 
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L'Chaim

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So citizenship of NZ is just given out automatically? Can the politicians just renounce the citizenship given to them without they're being aware it was granted to them?
 

Kevin Parlon

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So citizenship of NZ is just given out automatically? Can the politicians just renounce the citizenship given to them without they're being aware it was granted to them?
It's the same for Ireland. My wee ones are Irish Citizens though born overseas and have never had an Irish passport. You don't need a passport to be a citizen.
 

L'Chaim

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It's the same for Ireland. My wee ones are Irish Citizens though born overseas and have never had an Irish passport. You don't need a passport to be a citizen.
No, I mean you become an automatic citizen, without having to apply. I understand you could have the right to be a citizen, but do you not have to apply anyway. I know it's different with Israel. Any Jew who visits Israel is granted automatic citizenship but he/she doesn't have to take it. They can say they don't want citizenship. I'm just wondering if NZ grants automatic citizenship, without the person applying for it, or even knowing they are getting it
 

GDPR

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No, I mean you become an automatic citizen, without having to apply. I understand you could have the right to be a citizen, but do you not have to apply anyway. I know it's different with Israel. Any Jew who visits Israel is granted automatic citizenship but he/she doesn't have to take it. They can say they don't want citizenship. I'm just wondering if NZ grants automatic citizenship, without the person applying for it, or even knowing they are getting it
I am not sure about NZ, but for Irish citizenship I had to prove by birth certificates of one parent and one grandparent and my own that I was eligible to be a plastic paddy. I am sure NZ would require something similar otherwise everyone who wants to will walk in and claim citizenship.
 

Kevin Parlon

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No, I mean you become an automatic citizen, without having to apply. I understand you could have the right to be a citizen, but do you not have to apply anyway. I know it's different with Israel. Any Jew who visits Israel is granted automatic citizenship but he/she doesn't have to take it. They can say they don't want citizenship. I'm just wondering if NZ grants automatic citizenship, without the person applying for it, or even knowing they are getting it
Yes, and they are automatic citizens who have not applied for anything. If they want the passport they'll have to do what Grace did. That's passport application; not citizenship application.
 

Kevin Parlon

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I am not sure about NZ, but for Irish citizenship I had to prove by birth certificates of one parent and one grandparent that I was eligible to be a plastic paddy. I am sure NZ would require something similar otherwise everyone who wants to will walk in and claim citizenship.
You had to do that to get a Passport. You were already an Irish Citizen.
 

L'Chaim

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Yes, and they are automatic citizens who have not applied for anything. If they want the passport they'll have to do what Grace did. That's passport application; not citizenship application.
So the politicians in Australia wouldn't even have to be aware they were also citizens of NZ. Makes me wonder does NZ (or the Republic of Ireland) even know how many citizens it has
 

Kevin Parlon

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So the politicians in Australia wouldn't even have to be aware they were also citizens of NZ. Makes me wonder does NZ (or the Republic of Ireland) even know how many citizens it has
Yes and No.
 

Dimples 77

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No, I mean you become an automatic citizen, without having to apply. I understand you could have the right to be a citizen, but do you not have to apply anyway. I know it's different with Israel. Any Jew who visits Israel is granted automatic citizenship but he/she doesn't have to take it. They can say they don't want citizenship. I'm just wondering if NZ grants automatic citizenship, without the person applying for it, or even knowing they are getting it
I get what you mean but your words there aren't quite right there.

Surely Israel has just issued an entitlement to citizenship there, and not actual citizenship.

If the person doesn't take it then they aren't a citizen, and thus actual citizenship hasn't been granted.

This is similar to the situation for (most) people who are born in Northern Ireland. The ROI states that those people are entitled to Irish citizenship, but that doesn't automatically make those people Irish citizens.

In order to become an Irish citizen the ROI states that a person who is entitled to become an Irish citizen becomes an Irish citizen if he or she does any act that only Irish citizens are entitled to do. The most common act that people perform in order to become an Irish citizen is to apply for a ROI passport. That qualifies as an act as only Irish citizens are entitled to apply for a ROI passport.
 

Dimples 77

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So the politicians in Australia wouldn't even have to be aware they were also citizens of NZ. Makes me wonder does NZ (or the Republic of Ireland) even know how many citizens it has
That's a good point.

In the case of these countries if a citizen has children in another country, but never informs their home country that the children exist, then the children would be citizens even if the home country wasn't aware of it.

I suppose it makes no real difference if the home country never learns about these children.

If the children ever do something that involves their inherited citizenship - like apply for a passport for the home country of the parent - then the home country would learn about them.
 


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