Disqualifying Dual-National Parliamentarians in Australia: A Problem of Legal Status or of Their True ‘Belonging’ to Australia?

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Description

This blog post investigates the situation of the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Barnaby Joyce, who faced disqualification from the Australian Parliament because it transpired that he, unknowingly, held dual-nationality of Australia and New Zealand. This blog post is interested in the discourse that Mr Joyce employed in defence of his position as a parliamentarian and what that may reveal about his own perception of the nature of Australian citizenship in the context of the Australian Constitution. Mr Joyce relied on extra-legal markers of belonging and connection to Australia; his birth in Australia, his being ‘fifth-generation’, and his lack of tangible allegiance to New Zealand. Mr Joyce’s justifications suggest that his understanding of what citizenship means is not just about legal status but more importantly about one’s actual belonging to the nation. 

Period21 Jul 2017

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