Who can sit?: Section 44 and disqualification from the federal Parliament

Electoral Regulation Research Network Seminar

Tuesday 17 October 2017

NSW Parliament House

About the Seminar:

In recent months it has emerged that several federal MPs held foreign citizenship at the time of the 2016 election. In early October, the High Court will hear argument as to whether these MPs should be disqualified from sitting in Parliament under the rules set out in section 44 of the Constitution. This seminar brings together three expert commentators to discuss the issue from a legal, political science and practitioner perspective. It will consider the purpose of section 44 and evaluate the case for reform, and look at how disqualification rules operate in New South Wales. The seminar will also review the arguments presented at the High Court, discuss the likely fate of the various MPs, and consider the implications for the Turnbull government.

The Speakers:

  • Anne Twomey is Professor of Constitutional Law at the Sydney Law School, University of Sydney.
  • Helen Pringle is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the University of New South Wales.
  • Mel Keenan is Director Legal and Governance at the NSW Electoral Commission.