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  1. #1
    PeacefulViking PeacefulViking is offline

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    Dual citizenship problem for Australian politicians

    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.
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  2. #2
    gracethepirate gracethepirate is offline
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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.
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  3. #3
    General Urko General Urko is offline
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    Does Leo have dual citizenship?
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  4. #4
    wexfordman wexfordman is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by General Urko View Post
    Does Leo have dual citizenship?
    Leo is not an Australian politician, so why is it relevant ?
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  5. #5
    ruserious ruserious is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by General Urko View Post
    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.
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  6. #6
    Ardillaun Ardillaun is offline

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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.
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  7. #7
    PeacefulViking PeacefulViking is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ardillaun View Post
    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.
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  8. #8
    stray creditor stray creditor is offline

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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.
    Last edited by stray creditor; 16th August 2017 at 04:16 PM.
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  9. #9
    L'Chaim L'Chaim is offline
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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?
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  10. #10
    Kevin Parlon Kevin Parlon is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by L'Chaim View Post
    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.
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