March 19, 2018

Labor Senator referred to High Court over citizenship

06 December 2017, 04:20 | Opal Carroll

Labor senator likely to face High Court over citizenship

Labor senator could face court referral

Labor senator Katy Gallagher will be referred to the High Court over her dual citizenship despite insisting she is eligible to sit in parliament.

Mr Feeney and Ms Gallagher were referred to the court separately.

Those that were flagged in the Labor motion to be headed for the High Court were Labor MPs David Feeney, Josh Wilson, Justine Keay and Susan Lamb; Liberal MPs Nola Marino, Alex Hawke, Jason Falinski and Julia Banks; and NXT MP Rebekha Sharkie.

Lower house members will be forced to submit details about their citizenship status this morning.

'This motion debases the House.

The debate on amendments would be on Thursday and would continue until the legislation was finally voted on sometime on Thursday evening.

'The list of names we have here is the only way to be able to broker something so that the High Court gets to make the decisions that the High Court only can make'. The crisis has threatened Mr Turnbull's government.

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Supporting the motion, Attorney-General, George Brandis, said it did not reflect on the integrity of Katy Gallagher, but on the integrity of Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten.

In October, the High Court disqualified five MPs and Senators, including Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who found that he had New Zealand citizenship.

All had questions raised about their eligibility to sit in parliament due to concerns they might have been dual citizens at the time of nomination for the 2016 election, and therefore ineligible to sit in parliament under Section 44 of the Australian Constitution.

But the UK Home Office wrote back on July 1, nearly a month after election nominations closed, requesting original copies of her birth certificate and parents' marriage certificate.

One opposition Labor Party member has already told parliament it "remains unclear" whether he is British, after the Home Office could not find the paperwork to prove he renounced his citizenship a decade ago.

Senator Gallagher, whose father was born in the United Kingdom in 1939, did not receive the formal renunciation document until August 16, just over two months past the nomination date for the election.

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