Showing posts with label citizenship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label citizenship. Show all posts

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

High Court of Australia sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns ends federal parliamentarians eligibility to stand hearings and considers its judgment

“The Court reserves its decisions in these matters. It is hardly necessary to say that the Court is aware of the need to give its answers to these references with or without reasons as soon as possible. As counsel and instructing solicitors would appreciate, it is not always possible for the Court to do so immediately. No doubt, they will explain this to their clients.”  [Chief Justice of Australia Susan Mary Kiefel AC, 12 October 2017]

On 10-12 October 2017 the full High Court of Australia sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns heard arguments as to why five members and two former members of the Parliament of Australia should or shouldn’t be found to have been ineligible to stand for election prior to the 2016 general election and sit as an elected members thereafter.

While the country waits on the resolution of this matter, here are links to relevant documents and transcripts.

High Court of Australia Justices



High Court of Australia Transcripts

Self-styled “bounty hunter” issues penalty writs

David Barrow at

On 27 September 2017, I sued 6 current and former Senators and Mr Barnaby Joyce MP under the Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975 (Cth).

This provides a bounty for citizens ‘hunting down’ any Parliamentarian who has sat when disqualified.

$200 is paid for proving the Parliamentarian is caught out during the 12 months before being served with a lawsuit; and $200 is paid for every subsequent day on which he or she sat.

Any penalties I receive and personal tax benefit, I will donate to the The Fred Hollows Foundation…..

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Tony Abbott finally forced to show proof he renounced his British citizenship

Sacked former Australian prime minister and current Liberal MP for Warringah Tony Abbott has finally offered proof that he renounced his British citizenship on Tuesday 12 October 1993.

Why did it take him so long to offer this proof that he had done so?

Perhaps because the timeline below shows that he appears to have done so solely in order to gain Liberal Party preselection in an upcoming by-election in the federal seat of Warringah.

In this Abbott followed an established pattern of behaviour – only having applied for Australian citizenship some twenty years after arriving in Australia in order to facilitate his application for a Rhodes Scholarship in 1981.

And the reason Abbott has chosen to release renouncement proof at this particular time?

For the real reason look no further than the rumour that he has lost control of the numbers and will inevitably face a preselection challenge ahead of next year’s federal election. Therefore the reigniting of the dual citizenship debate and questions concerning his own eligibility to sit in parliament left him politically vulnerable within his own party branch.


13 March 1993

Federal general election held. Tony Abbott rumoured to have failed to find Liberal Party support to stand at this election.

19 October 1993

29 January 1994

IT has been a special week for Tony Abbott. The man trying to sell the monarchy — he is executive director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy has had his product in town. But Abbott has other things on his mind as well. He is planning to run for preselection for the safe Liberal federal seat of Warringah, being vacated by Michael MacKellar.

1 February 1994


Mr SPEAKER —I inform the House that on 14 January 1994 I received a letter from the Hon. James Joseph Carlton resigning his seat as the member for the electoral division of Mackellar. I am also aware that the Hon. Michael MacKellar, honourable member for Warringah, has indicated his intention to resign from parliament on Friday, 18 February 1994. Consideration is being given to possible dates for the by-elections, and I am consulting with party leaders on this matter. I will inform the House in due course of the dates which I have fixed for the by-elections.

1 February 1994


Mr SPEAKER —……I have considered all the comments made. I now inform the House that, subject to the receipt of Mr MacKellar's resignation on 18 February, it is my intention to issue writs for the by-elections in Mackellar and Warringah on that day. Dates in connection with the by-elections will be as follows: issue of writs, Friday, 18 February 1994; close of rolls, Friday, 25 February 1994; nominations, Tuesday, 1 March 1994; polling, Saturday, 26 March 1994; and return of writs, on or before Friday, 27 May 1994.

20 February 1994

Tony Abbott wins preselection for the federal seat of Warringah. At this point he has been eligible to stand for election to the federal parliament for just under nineteen weeks.

1 March 1994

Date of nominations for Warringah by-election.

26 March 1994

Warringah by-election held. Tony Abbott elected.

Friday, 23 June 2017

About those rules for joining the Liberal-Nationals' cosy little citizenship club.......

This bill raises the bar on applications for citizenship and increases the power of the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, over the citizenship process - including granting him the power to override Administrative Appeals Tribunal decisions on citizenship applications.

One of the components of this bill is the introduction of an English language test, which means that with few exceptions applicants between 16 and 60 years of age will need to demonstrate competent English language listening, speaking, reading and writing skills before being able to sit the citizenship test.

Applicants will be required to undertake a separate upfront English language test with an accredited provider and achieve a minimum level of ‘competent’.

According to the Immigration Minister the minimum level of competency is the IELTS General Training language test at  “Level 6 of the General stream focuses on "basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts".

This particular test has three components – listening, reading and writing - and takes the better part of three hours to complete.

An example of the type of questions contained in the General Training reading test can be found here.

There is a strong likelihood that between est. 7-16 million Australians (including those born in Australia of Australian parents) would fail this test if they were required to take it today.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recorded the results of direct measurement of three critical information-processing skills: literacy; numeracy; and problem solving in technology-rich environments and the 16.3 million people whose skills were measured included those not in the workforce, those in employment and those without a job.

In 2016 ABS recorded:

By 2011-12 ABS was stating:

In the 2011-12 round of testing 43% of participants born in Australia and 51% of participants born outside of Australia had English literacy levels below Level 3.

The chances of the majority of these people, regardless of whether they are citizens or residents with visas, being able to pass Peter Dutton’s new English language test is slim to say the least.

According to Catherine Elder, a world-leading expert at Melbourne University and president of the International Language Testing Association; "A level six on both tests requires you to be highly literate and to be able to do things like write an essay. It would take a great deal of time and be beyond the reach of many people who come to Australia."

The fact of the matter is that in 2011-12 it was people who had attained a higher education qualification (Bachelor degree and above) who were more likely than others to have achieved a score at Level 3 or above in literacy and numeracy, and Level 2 or above in problem solving in technology-rich environments.

So according to the new citizenship rules being supported by millionaire parliamentarians Malcolm Bligh Turnbull and Peter Craig Dutton, it would appear that only those that managed to acquire a decent education need apply to join the Liberal-Nationals’ cosy little citizenship club.1

1. In 1788 when the forbears of many individuals and families - which are both grand and humble members of  Australian society of today - first stumbled off those early British convict ships onto shore the vast majority of them would have been illiterate. On the basis of poor literacy levels and criminal records Malcolm Bligh Turnbull's many convict forbears wouldn't be allowed to become permanent residents much less citizens today under the new rules.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Lawyers, including the country's peak law body, have condemned Immigration Minister Peter Dutton

Australia would do well to remember that besides being a wealthy property developer, the far-right Australian Immigration Minister and Liberal MP for Dickson, Peter Craig Dutton (left), is a former Queensland police officer.

Neither occupation has a history of probity in that state* nor its members a reputation for an ability to look beyond their own narrow self-interests.

Lawyers, including the country's peak law body, have condemned Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's latest citizenship crackdown as a power grab that threatens the independence of the judiciary.

Under changes to be put to Parliament this week, the minister will be empowered to overrule citizenship decisions of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, in a bid to put a stop to its "silly" rulings……

Law Council of Australia president Fiona McLeod said she would await the full details, but reports of the tribunal being hamstrung were worrying.

"That's a very grave concern," she said. "Any attempt to wind back review powers should be treated with concern."……

Australian National University law professor Kim Rubenstein, who consulted on the 2008 citizenship revamp, warned against granting individual government ministers more and more power.

"That becomes a slippery slope to very draconian environments," she said. "We as Australians take these things too much for granted."

Western Sydney University law lecturer Jason Donnelly said it "completely undermines the object and independence of the AAT" and "shows a growing imbalance" in the separation of powers.

"It opens the can of worms to the abrogation of other fundamental rights," he said. "The courts have a fundamental role in protecting rights - because the government certainly isn't doing it."