By Andrew Zirkle | AUSTRALIA
As unbelievable as it is, if written Australian law were to be taken completely literally, no Australian citizens would be permitted to serve in Parliament.
Right on the tail of a dual citizenship scandal involving the country’s deputy PM, a prominent Sydney lawyer has pointed out that the problem may be much worse because of how one New Zealand policy applies to section 44 of the Australian Constitution. According to section 44 of the Australian Constitution, anyone “under any acknowledgment 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” is not allowed to serve in Parliament.
This section, despite having good intentions, becomes problematic due to recent changes in New Zealand immigration, visa and citizenship policy which allows Australian citizens to live and work in New Zealand without a visa. This shift in New Zealand policy means that all Australians, whether citizens of New Zealand or not, are entitled to certain rights and privileges that are required to be a subject of another country.
If the policy of these two countries is taken literally, no Australians regardless of pre-existing dual citizenship status may serve in Parliament.