If you were to take Australian law to the letter, then there would not be a single
Australian citizen qualified to serve in that country’s Parliament.
Amid the dual citizenship scandal involving a number of Australian MPs, a Sydney
barrister has claimed that, a section of the federal constitution could arguably
disqualify everyone from parliament… and New Zealand is to blame for that.
In a blog post on the Huffington Post, barrister Robert Angyal pointed out that section
44 of the Australian Constitution states that anyone “under any acknowledgement of
allegiance, obedience, or 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” would be
disqualified from serving in federal parliament.
“Under recent and little-noticed changes to New Zealand law, Australian citizens now
don’t need a visa to live, study or work in the Land of the Long White Cloud. That’s right:
Any Australian citizen is entitled to live, study and work there,” he said.
“That means we’re all entitled to the rights and privileges of a subject of New Zealand –
not a citizen, with the attached rights and privileges such as voting – but to be a subject
of that country, living there, subject to New Zealand law, working or studying. And
there’s no doubt that New Zealand is a foreign power.”
According to Angyal, if section 44 were to be taken into account, no Australian would be
eligible to be an Australian MP.
He went on to explain that it’s not about using those rights and privileges of a foreign
power as you only need to be entitled to those rights and privileges.
“New Zealand law has made every Australian citizen incapable of being elected to, or
serving in, the Australian Parliament. It’s not just Barnaby Joyce: It’s everyone,” he
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