Dual citizenship: this parliament of ‘foreigners’ is listing

Today in The Australian

As braces of bloodhounds scour Parliament House for dual nationals, section 44(i) of the Constitution has crippled the gov­ernment and, depending on the outcome in the seat of Bennelong, may make Bill Shorten prime minister.

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.
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54 Responses to Dual citizenship: this parliament of ‘foreigners’ is listing

  1. Leo G

    “If this is the “certainty and stability” the High Court claims its interpretation of the section will foster, the alternative must have been the apocalypse.
    To say that is not to criticise the decision. It would have been utterly improper for the High Court to consider the political ramifications of its verdict in undertaking its task.” – Henry Ergas

    I suggest political ramifications are uppermost in the considerations of a politicised High Court.

  2. Mak Siccar

    What did we do to deserve this? Un-bloody-believable.

  3. Andysaurus

    I should like to know if any previous incumbents also held dual citizenship. Particularly Gillard. Could we have all her legislation undone please?

  4. stevem

    I’m beginning to think that a change of government might be best. A no confidence vote could allow Shorten to take over for the remainder of this term and give the electorate a chance to see the horror of Shorten as PM whilst limiting his damage to little over a year. It would dump Turnbull and his bedwetters and, hopefully, allow some sanity to return to the Liberals.

  5. RobK

    This is a national embarrassment of the highest order. Shame on all those in office, their party machines, and their bureaucratic minders. All unfit for purpose and a national disgrace.

  6. Peter

    Will someone hurry up and find a way to make Shorten an undeclared foreign citizen! Please.

    But seriously I wonder what the writers of the Constitution had in mind. The High Court clearly has no doubts (and I for one thought its judgment was spot on – the Constitutional provisions were not about people’s belief but rather about the legal reality of their entitlement to foreign citizenship) but the thought keeps plaguing me that most of the early members of the Australian Parliament would surely have been British dual citizens or entitled to British citizenship by birth -unless the British citizenship law was radically different back then. Making them ineligible to hold office as an Australian Member of Parliament. Or did they all have the perspicacity back then to read and obey the Constitution and renounce their citizenship. Something modern politicians seem incapable of doing. We should not be surprised at that – so many of them today, after all seem to regard the Constitution as only being a guide (when it comes to their own situation) and a weapon to use against the other side.

  7. gbees

    I agree with Stevem – having Shorten take over now would limit the damage & pain to about a year when the next election is due. Granted the damage he inflicts might be considerable however it will pale into insignificance to any damage he could inflict over much longer periods. As much as it would make me ill to see Shorten and Labor in charge, it’s probably better for Australia if we can shorten (pun intended) the time he/it is in government.

  8. .

    Both myself and any children I have are eligible for a UK passport through my father and his parents regardless of what is said below.

    My father was naturalised when he came here in the 1950s along with his Mum and Dad.

    (My mother’s family was either born here going back to 1820 settlement or otherwise pre-Federation settlement and birth.)

    Does that mean myself or any children I have are ineligible for election?

    As long as my descendents keep on marrying into new Australian stock, can this be indefinite?

    If I marry a girl from the UK, will MY grandchildren be ineligible to sit in Parliament? Despite our theoretical kids and grandkids all being Australian born, citizens and future wifey becoming an Australian citizen, before or after marriage or childbirth?

  9. Leo G

    “… and I for one thought its judgment was spot on – the Constitutional provisions were not about people’s belief but rather about the legal reality of their entitlement to foreign citizenship.”

    But what at the time of Federation was “foreign citizenship” to a British subject born in Australia?

  10. Diogenes

    “If this is the “certainty and stability” the High Court claims its interpretation of the section will foster, the alternative must have been the apocalypse.

    And the stupidity of the decision means that a real foreigner like Sam Dastardly, despite “best efforts” to renounce (I see no mention of ‘best effort’ anywhere in the Constitution) , can walk into the Iranian Embassy tomorrow, and walk out with an Iranian passport, whilst many of the others have to proactively apply, prove descent , pay a fee and take a oath in order to ‘take up’ their automatic citizenship. My younger brother is exploring this ATM, but it will cost him @ $1k and will take 3-6 months to assess his claim for the Romanian citizenship that would see excluded under Sect 44 i) – go figure !

    If Dastardly’s “best effort” is regarded as good enough, then the Aussie Parliament should pass a ‘foreign citizenship renunciation’ act , that has potential candidates filling out out a declaration and making a special oath/affirmation. Should said citizen swear the oath and become elected, should they in the future take up the foreign citizenship , the penalty is threefold;
    1. Civic : automatic stripping of their Aussie citizenship (legal as they will not be left stateless), and if the foreign citizenship rights they claim extends to ANY of their family they are stripped as well (again they will not be stateless as they will automatically be citizens of wherever)
    2. Financial : the repayment of the $2.62 per 1st preference vote they received from the AEC, any parliamentary salary , pension, allowance or ‘entitlement'(eg overseas trips) they have received, and chargeable against any family still in Australia (I think 3-4 generations deep should do it, and if parents still resident they can be included as well)
    3. Criminal : a new offense is created that entails a minimum & automatic life jail sentence, no defence is allowed, so that should they return to Australia they can be arrested and jailed, and the offence is recorded on Interpol databases, but no international warrants issued (that should put a huge crimp in their ability to travel and/or work overseas in Europe or the US)

  11. Joe

    But what at the time of Federation was “foreign citizenship” to a British subject born in Australia?

    Is immaterial because time has moved on and Britain is now a foreign country.

    This is all fixable by parliament.
    1. Revoke the dual citizenship act(s).
    2. Change the naturalisation act to automatically renounce all past entitlements of other countries once you become a naturalised citizen of Australia.
    3. Change any acts to ensure that people born in Australia of parents that are Australian Citizens are Australian citizens and automatically are incapable of taking up any foreign entitlements.

  12. old bloke

    .
    #2556193, posted on November 17, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Both myself and any children I have are eligible for a UK passport through my father and his parents regardless of what is said below.

    My father was naturalised when he came here in the 1950s along with his Mum and Dad.

    Dot, UK citizenship is available for first generation descendants born overseas (that’s you), but it isn’t available to second generation descendants (your children), unless your wife is also a UK citizen.

  13. Sentinel Man

    Agree with Steve that a gift to Shorten would reveal the horrors and reality of his social agenda.
    That said, he is a smart and ruthless cookie and would probably call an early election. With the Libs in total chaos and underfunded and Labor increasing the welfare dependents, we could have him for two terms minimum.

  14. Diogenes

    . Should said citizen swear the oath and become elected, should they in the future take up the foreign citizenship , the penalty is threefold;

    Thinking on this my 3 fold penalty is ONLY if they are elected. If NOT elected they have to repay the 2.62 to the AEC and the debt is transferable to any family left in Australia

  15. .

    Thanks old bloke. I am fairly sure however that any grandchildren I have regardless of citizenship can still get a UK passport – am I wrong on this?

    Does this count as a privilege given by a foreign power etc?

  16. Diogenes

    .
    Try the ‘are you a pom?’ website, put in details as if answering for your kids. Should explain it
    https://www.gov.uk/check-british-citizen

  17. .

    Thanks, just used that site.

    Computer says: No…but I can get a UK passport I believe…what a mess.

  18. Bela Bartok

    Hang on. Section 44 of the Constitution has NOT ‘crippled the government’.
    Duplicitous, lazy, incompetent politicians have crippled the government.

    I can say ‘land tax and stamp duty have crippled me’ but I’m still expected to pay – no leniency.
    Why do these dopey buggers and their media mates afford them the excuse ‘I didn’t read the (quite obvious and straightforward) fine print?’
    Fire them all. Declare the whole government invalid. Repeal every law passed. Begin again.
    Election immediately and financial penalty for the Mal-feasers !

  19. Senile Old Guy

    Hang on. Section 44 of the Constitution has NOT ‘crippled the government’.
    Duplicitous, lazy, incompetent politicians have crippled the government.

    We can speculate about those who drew up the original constitution but the rules are the rules. If intending, and current, politicians can choose to ignore constitutional requirements, then that is the end of the rule of law.

    If I break laws I do not know about, or do not understand, do I get let off? I do not.

    The politicians actually make the rules: they must be accountable to them.

  20. old bloke

    Thanks old bloke. I am fairly sure however that any grandchildren I have regardless of citizenship can still get a UK passport – am I wrong on this?

    Dot, at the moment, any children you have don’t qualify for UK citizenship, nor do any of your grandchildren. This may change if you apply for UK citizenship, or if your children’s mother is a UK citizen.

    UK citizenship is extended to the first generation born overseas, other countries extend citizenship entitlements for two or more generations (Ireland, for example). This is why I say that Bill Shorten’s citizenship should be checked. He has claimed that he has renounced his UK citizenship (his father was British), but has he renounced his Irish citizenship? (his maternal grandfather was Irish).

  21. .

    I am not a British citizen (I am Australian) but I believe am a British subject by descent (a rare category)…this is confusing and I may need to see a lawyer myself.

  22. .

    Rights as a British subject
    You can:

    hold a British passport
    get consular assistance and protection from UK diplomatic posts
    However, you:

    are usually subject to immigration controls and don’t have the automatic right to live or work in the UK (there are only rare exceptions to this)
    aren’t considered a UK national by the European Union (EU)

    How would the High Court deal with this? I see the 1983 rule would exclude my children unless I married a Brit.

  23. P

    Today in the Australian:
    For example, the court held in 1992 that a Mr Kardamitis, who well before unsuccessfully contesting the federal seat of Wills had surrendered his Greek passport and several times taken oaths of allegiance to the Queen, should have applied to the appropriate Greek minister for the minister to exercise his discretion and annul Kardamitis’s Greek nationality.

    This Paper may be of interest to some. In 1992 it records the above name as Kardamitsis.
    I’ve read from from p23 on and found it informative.

  24. Boambee John

    Joe at 1138

    1. Revoke the dual citizenship act(s).

    Such legislation should never have been passed. I suspect tgat its original purpose was to harvest ethnic votes.

    A corollary benefit of their repeal would be an end to the nonsense of the taxpayer being required to “rescue” during the next local stoush those nominal “Australians” receiving their pensions in the wilds of Lebanon.

  25. Leo G

    “(It’s) immaterial because time has moved on and Britain is now a foreign country.”

    It is not immaterial, but quite pertinent.
    The Constitutional s44 “citizen of a foreign power” refers to a foreign power with respect to the sovereignty of the United Kingdom.
    Moreover, it appears that reference could have been changed by our Parliament, without a referendum, because it lies not in the Constitution but in the enabling Act. The proscriptions of s128 apply only to the Constitution set out in clause 9 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act.
    If we are to use the current thinking of the High Court-absurdly interpreted literalism- then no Australian citizen qualifies to be an Australian MP.

  26. struth

    Is immaterial because time has moved on and Britain is now a foreign country.

    Please show me the referendum amended part of the constitution that states this.

    Leo G is hitting on it, and I’ve been banging on about it for a long time.

    Nothing in our constitution can be changed without a referendum.

    Nothing.

  27. .

    No. You are wrong struth, please read the following.

    COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 51 Legislative powers of the Parliament [see Notes 10 and 11]

    COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 51

    Legislative powers of the Parliament [see Notes 10 and 11]
    http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s51.html

    Section 51 (xxxviii)

    (xxxviii) the exercise within the Commonwealth, at the request or with the concurrence of the Parliaments of all the States directly concerned, of any power which can at the establishment of this Constitution be exercised only by the Parliament of the United Kingdom or by the Federal Council of Australasia;

  28. struth

    That does not mean the constitution can be changed without referendum dot.
    That actually states the opposite.

    It is saying that any law so made ,regarding good governance with the agreement of the states .
    Under the granted powers of the constitution.
    It is interesting to note.
    The constitution does not give them the power to change it without referendum, and “they” include the pommie parliament.

    “any power which can at the establishment of this constitution be exercised”

    I’m sorry but there exercise regime does not allow them to change the constitution.

    It is stating that they all must work in agreement UNDER THE POWERS IT GRANTS.
    This is OUR constitution.
    We the sovereign people.
    They only have the power granted to them by our constitution.

    Your fundamental disability to understand that this is the contract between us and them, to keep them honest is frightening.

    The queen could not come in and change it, once it was in place.
    It doesn’t matter what the pommie parliament, the Queen or our parliament does.

    She must ask us, by referendum, if we still want her as queen, even if she doesn’t want to be.
    Up until that point, she is our head of state whether she likes it or not.

    Rule of Law, means Rule of Law for all.

    The Australia act was unconstitutional.

  29. P

    Struth, I note that this Paper of 1992, p74, is perhaps of some relevance to your question
    under the headings:
    ‘1986 Australia Act’
    ‘Post 1 May 1987 Status of British subject repealed’
    ‘1988 Recent High Court statements’
    Then under subheading ‘Conclusion’
    quote:
    ‘It is unclear when British subjects became subjects of a ‘foreign power’ within the meaning of s.44(i). However, the actual time at which Great Britain became a foreign power within the meaning of s.44(i) does not appear to affect the operation ofs.44(i). Section44(i) applies to the present situation and this involves regarding Great Britain as a foreign power . . .’

  30. Leo G

    Section44(i) applies to the present situation and this involves regarding Great Britain as a foreign power . . .’

    Your argument appears to be that even if sovereignty under the Constitution Act still refers to the UK, under The Constitution it refers implicitly to the state that has governmental, executive, legislative, an judicial jurisdiction over Australia.

  31. .

    That does not mean the constitution can be changed without referendum dot.

    It wasn’t. Britain gave Australia the power to declare independence and so forth under s 51 (xxxviii).

    The Australia Acts did not change the constitution. They are enabled by it.

  32. struth

    Britain gave Australians the power to declare independence in the constitution by means of a referendum, in 1901.
    That is the only way we can do it.

    It never happened.

    What part of, the British government, nor the Queen , nor the Australian parliament can change it without our consent, don’t you get?

  33. struth

    It is unclear when British subjects became subjects of a ‘foreign power’ within the meaning of s.44(i). However, the actual time at which Great Britain became a foreign power within the meaning of s.44(i) does not appear to affect the operation ofs.44(i). Section44(i) applies to the present situation and this involves regarding Great Britain as a foreign power . . .’

    I’m well aware of the corruption and double talk that is so easily seen through if you understand your constitution.

    Dot claims that under the power of our constitution with regard to 51 (xxxviii) gives them the power to do what the hell they like as long as they all agree, and it certainly does not.
    Using that logic, they are completely let loose.

    It reads a bit dodgy and you could almost see them looking at it and saying’ “here’s our loophole” but with any understanding of the English language the opposite is true.
    “Within the commonwealth” means exactly that but the phrase ” of any power which at the establishment of this Constitution be exercised” means they can on agreement, make laws under the powers granted them by the constitution.
    The constitution does not give them the power to change it without referendum.
    That is a power that cannot be “exercised” as it is not given by the constitution.

    So go to the very first sentence of the constitution.

    We are a sovereign nation, under our constitution.

    If we went to a referendum and decided to become a republic and have Donald Trump as our King, we can by referendum make that happen.
    He may not want the job.
    That’s irrelevant.
    We could decide our head of State be Big Bird and that is who our head of State would be.

    But we get to decide.

    Not the British parliament, nor the Australian one, nor the Queen.

    They must ask us.
    They didn’t.

    And isn’t it fun looking at these double talking lying traitors saying we don’t know when it happened, but it just has , so there.

    It’s unclear ………………………………………………..my arse.

    He wants it to be unclear.

    The constitution is our contract with these arseholes who are running riot over it and now some of it is coming back to bite them on the bum, hard.

  34. Squirrel

    It’s difficult to see the cross-bench in the Reps (with one obvious exception) supporting a no-confidence motion. A minority Shorten Government would take the earliest opportunity to go for an election (albeit probably only for the Reps) and turn their solid opinion poll lead into a solid (or better) majority – at which point the bargaining power of the surviving cross-benchers would evaporate.

  35. .

    What part of, the British government, nor the Queen , nor the Australian parliament can change it without our consent, don’t you get?

    Nothing was changed.

    You are basically saying that Metformin is the wrong drug to treat cancer of the balls. No shit, the patient has diabetes. Dr Struth insists the high blood glucose and poor vision is because of nut cancer. Around we dance again…

  36. Crossie

    The constitution is our contract with these arseholes who are running riot over it and now some of it is coming back to bite them on the bum, hard.

    Some certainly are arseholes but most of them are ignorant fools with delusions of grandeur. Look at examples such as Kelly O’Dwyer, Lambie, Emma Husar et al.

  37. struth

    Nothing was changed.

    You are basically saying that Metformin is the wrong drug to treat cancer of the balls. No shit, the patient has diabetes. Dr Struth insists the high blood glucose and poor vision is because of nut cancer. Around we dance again…

    You know that’s a lie, or nobody from Britain would be considered to be from a foreign power, as our constitution specifically states that they are not.

    So this abstract babble about nut cancer is your defence?

    I once said you are going to make a good lawyer.

    I take that back, for two reasons.
    The exhibition of stupidity through emotion above ,and the fact that a good lawyer is an oxymoron.

  38. .

    NOTHING WAS CHANGED.

    THE UK PARLIAMENT EXPLICITLY GAVE THE COMMONWEALTH THE AUTHORITY TO PASS A LAW DECLARING INDEPENDENCE OR A PRACTICAL EQUIVALENT UNDER s 51 (xxxviii) AT THE REQUEST OF THE STATES. THE ONLY LINGERING ISSUE WAS IF THE UK PARLIAMENT NEEDED TO ASSENT TO SUCH A LAW. POSSIBLY NOT AFTER 1926 OR 1942 HOWEVER THE UK PASSED THE AUSTRALIA ACT SO THAT IT WAS IN FORCE SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH THE AUSTRALIAN ACT.

  39. struth

    THE UK PARLIAMENT EXPLICITLY GAVE THE COMMONWEALTH THE AUTHORITY TO PASS A LAW DECLARING INDEPENDENCE OR A PRACTICAL EQUIVALENT UNDER s 51 (xxxviii) AT THE REQUEST OF THE STATES.

    I have given you good reason why that is invalid.
    It is not a case of them not doing it.
    It is a case of it being unconstitutional.
    S51 does not give them the power to do that.

    The UK parliament had no power to do that from the first of Jan 1901.
    It needed to be asked of the people in a referendum.

    As I stated earlier, it is our constitution and neither the Queen nor the British parliament, or our parliament can change one word on it without a referendum.
    Declaring independence from Britain goes completely against our constitution in so many constitutional laws as to be staggering.

    I think you sincerely want to believe that bypassing our constitution was fine because the alternative frightens you.

  40. .

    struth

    Keep in mind I have no intention to lessen your rights. Read carefully what I wrote. You are relying on guarantees THAT DO NOT EXIST AND HAVE NEVER EXISTED. This is why we need constitutional reform.

    S51 does not give them the power to do that.

    No. You are wrong struth, please read the following.

    COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 51 Legislative powers of the Parliament [see Notes 10 and 11]

    COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 51

    Legislative powers of the Parliament [see Notes 10 and 11]
    http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s51.html

    Section 51 (xxxviii)

    (xxxviii) the exercise within the Commonwealth, at the request or with the concurrence of the Parliaments of all the States directly concerned, of any power which can at the establishment of this Constitution be exercised only by the Parliament of the United Kingdom or by the Federal Council of Australasia;

    The UK parliament had no power to do that from the first of Jan 1901.
    It needed to be asked of the people in a referendum.

    No. The Imperial Parliament could revoke by their own Act any referendum until the Statute of Westminster Act power as we were a colony, it had plenary power and subject to the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865 (Imp), up until 1942. Arguably the PM could have the Queen revoke a referendum, let alone any law passed up to one year prior (section 60 – and s 128 still requires assent) [this power has never been used]. Even the GG could refuse to assent a referendum that successfully passed (s 58 – this is an explicit DISCRETIONARY power and not subject to Ministerial advice).

    As I stated earlier, it is our constitution and neither the Queen nor the British parliament, or our parliament can change one word on it without a referendum.

    No one changed anything.

    Declaring independence from Britain goes completely against our constitution in so many constitutional laws as to be staggering.

    No it doesn’t. READ THE SECTION.

    I think you sincerely want to believe that bypassing our constitution was fine because the alternative frightens you.

    Section 128 is not as robust as you think. If the State Parliaments requested, then the Commonwealth Parliament could abandon the whole thing because of s 51 (xxxviii).

    The alternative doesn’t “frighten me”, it isn’t necessary.

    That is the frightening part – s 51 (xxxviii) ought to be repealed by its own exercise or by referendum.

    Anyone who says the Australian constitution does not need changing has not read it or is unfamiliar with the High Court’s more ludicrous decisions.

    If we had wall to wall ALP government controlling all houses of Parliament, the constitution could be changed to what the unions wanted with no way to vote on it save to vote them out and have a referendum next time.

    That in itself is a high barrier but a party can legally hijack a right which is apparently sovereign and democratic.

  41. Tel

    Anyone who says the Australian constitution does not need changing has not read it or is unfamiliar with the High Court’s more ludicrous decisions.

    I would start by removing the word “Marriage” and probably also removing the stuff about divorce, but I understand very few people would support me on that, so not worth having a referendum over.

  42. .

    I agree, then again I am in the 0.000002% of the populace who want sortition.

  43. struth

    As per usual dot, we are arguing about what is basically irrelevant anyway.

    My points on all the issues above that you raised is I don’t read my Constitution the way it has been falsely interpreted by those that want to and need to.

    It is plain English enough for me, yet the Judiciary and parliament twist what is obvious to anyone who understands English.

    I fully understand that they have twisted the meaning of the document and used a British parliament with little taste for keeping control over Australia to help them.

    However, I ask you to clear your head of the bullshit and read the Constitution as written and put in place in 1901, with only the amendments put in place via referendum as the only real law of this land.

    Otherwise , you will twist yourself in knots trying to explain that Britain is a foreign power while not being able to say precisely when that occurred yet staring constitutional requirements that MP’s can be from the British commonwealth, and the queen is the queen of Australia, because this regal fiction appeared out of nowhere, and is not the Queen of the British commonwealth which of course is a foreign power, like many a far more learned legal mind than mine above, can’t explain.

    Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive …………………………….

    Should be written a hundred times on the blackboard before any law student sits down to study their art of deception and lies.

  44. Aristogeiton

    Jesus Dot, calm down. How’s your law degree going? You finish it yet?

  45. Kneel

    “My points on all the issues above that you raised is I don’t read my Constitution the way it has been falsely interpreted by those that want to and need to.”

    Indeed. How can a law which changes the meaning of the constitution, such the Australia Act, be constitutional? If such a law is constitutional, then the constitution could be changed without a referendum by the parliament enacting a law saying that for the purposes of interpretation of section blah of the constitution, “is” means “is not”, “can” means “can not” etc etc, and then simply making whatever changes they like, such as “The labor party is the only legal political party” and “Only members of a legal political party may be elected” etc.
    Ridiculous! The clear intent and plain meaning of the constitution is that the constitution places limits on what can and cannot be legislated by various governments. The clear intent and meaning is that these limits cannot be changed by any act of any parliament, but only by consent of the people as determined by referenda. Any law that seeks to, or by application does, change the meaning and intent of the constitution is obviously unconstitutional and therefor unenforcible at least as far as it applies to the constitution and its meaning. Any other interpretation renders the constitution essentially useless – which is clearly not the intent of the constitution itself. Thereby, the Australia Act cannot be applied to any matter pertaining to the constitution, and such matters must be settled by reference to the constitution and the clear intent and meaning at the time it became valid, subject only to such changes as have been made by appropriately voted referenda.

  46. .

    However, I ask you to clear your head of the bullshit and read the Constitution as written and put in place in 1901, with only the amendments put in place via referendum as the only real law of this land.

    I’ve told you to read further and you refuse to do so. You are believing in myths. You want to believe in s 128 at a mystical level and ignore ss 51 (xxxviii), 58, 60 as if they don’t exist at all. If you want this to happen (maybe it should), then that needs to be passed under s 128 or s 51 (xxxviii). It just doesn’t happen because you think the constitution is some great democratic document that protects us from tyranny.

    Otherwise , you will twist yourself in knots trying to explain that Britain is a foreign power

    It is. The appeal to the PC was abolished by the AAs and the British Government absolved itself of power and responsibility to Australia.

    being able to say precisely when that occurred

    Federally: 1942, States and removing all uncertainty: 1986

    Are you seriously trying to argue that Australia is still a colony? That is just bizarre.

    The British Australia Act 1986 (UK) cut us off and removed all doubt.

    Section 7 (2) provides that the Queen has no power in the States – only the governor can exercise her powers. Which makes firing and appointment a tad tricky. Another good reason to actually become a republic, but you won’t see the “official” republicans nor the NO case even discuss this.

    The State situation in respect of the governor is worse than the Federal situation of the GG.

  47. .

    Indeed. How can a law which changes the meaning of the constitution, such the Australia Act, be constitutional?

    By section 51 (xxxviii):

    (xxxviii) the exercise within the Commonwealth, at the request or with the concurrence of the Parliaments of all the States directly concerned, of any power which can at the establishment of this Constitution be exercised only by the Parliament of the United Kingdom or by the Federal Council of Australasia;

  48. Combine Dave

    It’s not enough that these traitors and foreign agents be deposed from the Parliament, they surely should all be deported toot sweet!

    Another positive:
    The stimulus effect on NZ and UK would be great for the global economy!

  49. .

    Thereby, the Australia Act cannot be applied to any matter pertaining to the constitution, and such matters must be settled by reference to the constitution and the clear intent and meaning at the time it became valid, subject only to such changes as have been made by appropriately voted referenda.

    I wish you were correct, but this is just absolute nonsense. The Australia Act is enabled to do exactly that by s 51 (xxxviii).

    The clear intent and plain meaning of the constitution is that the constitution places limits on what can and cannot be legislated by various governments.

    Indeed.

    Section 51 grants the majority of the (mostly) exclusive powers of the Commonwealth Parliament, one of which, per s 51 (xxxviii) enables the Australia Act.

    The Commonwealth is given this power explicitly and in plain English.

    Even if the Australian Australia Act was invalid, the British one would be (and of course still is) still valid.

    Worth a read too:

    Australia Act 1986 (UK).

  50. Kneel

    “By section 51 (xxxviii):”

    If your interpretation is correct, then it would appear that the constitution is worth less than the paper it is printed on, and can be distorted at will by the parliaments.
    I would hope that such an interpretation is wrong.
    I fear that it is correct.

  51. struth

    Only a crook or a moron could read section 51 and come to dot’s conclusion

    As I have spelled out above why what they have done is unconstitutional and yet dot persists comes down to an interpretation of 51 that bypasses the need for a referendum on anything if interpreted in this manner.
    If our constitution states that a person can sit in our parliament as a British subject and that hasn’t been changed by referendum then they still can and this is why they are having this little crisis of their own unconstitutional making now.
    If nothing has been changed as dot is so eager to tell us then poms in parliament would still be fine.
    If it has changed then when was the referendum held to change it?
    Never.
    It of course all has to do with how it is interpreted and these pricks interpret it with criminal dishonesty and it then is left only to the common man who is the second party in the contract to hold them accountable.
    And fat luck with that.
    Because as dot shows us, a high level of English comprehension is clearly undesirable when our betters (the first party in the contract) read constitutions.

  52. struth

    To add , the truth of what has been done to us and our constitution has been criminal and the judiciary and some pollies know it.
    They have been in a state of absolute anxious aggression in covering it up by twisted words , taking the constitution out of our schools, and trying to baffle us with bullshit (it obviously works on some) hence we see politicians who would rather die in a hole than give up their career politician seats quietly and quickly step aside.
    Their parties making sure this looking at the constitution thing dies down quickly.
    Their scalps easily taken.
    Not one says…..but hang on, the constitution says this.
    And they won’t.
    The status quo must be maintained as the problems they would have if the plebs started asking things like……….when did Britain and the Queen become a foreign country and how is that possible when the constitution clearly states a British subject can sit in our parliament and that section hasn’t even been altered by our dopey betters is worth many more political scalps to keep quiet than the few already collected.

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