Politics

Nov 9, 2017

Could historical ministerial decisions be overturned?

Legal experts explain whether or not it would be possible to question decisions of former ministers.

Sally Whyte — Political reporter

Sally Whyte

Political reporter

The number of current MPs and senators with questions around their status as dual citizens continues to rise, with independent Senator Jacqui Lambie revealing her father was born in Scotland. Since the original Citizenship Seven were sent to the High Court, Senator Stephen Parry has resigned, and Liberal MP John Alexander is looking into his family history. Then there's the Labor MPs and senators who are also facing scrutiny about the exact dates they renounced their dual citizenship. 

So are dual citizens a particular affliction of the 45th parliament? Barnaby Joyce was first elected in 2005 -- he'd been around for 12 years before realising that he was a Kiwi and therefore not eligible to sit in parliament. It is unlikely that Joyce and his dual-citizen colleagues are the first ones to read over the Australian Electoral Commission declaration, assume they are fine, and sign on the dotted line and go on to be elected.

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