Date set for Labor senator Katy Gallagher citizenship decision

Date set for Labor senator Katy Gallagher citizenship decision
Labor senator, Katy Gallagher. Photo by ACT Government via Wikimedia Commons

The High Court of Australia has set the day after the budget as the day they will rule on the parliamentary eligibility of Labor’s Katy Gallagher which may set precedent for how the situation will be handled for another 4 federal politicians.

The former chief minister of the ACT has also been caught out in the dual citizenship saga.

Ms Gallagher had previously made the argument that she had taken all of the reasonable actions to renounce her citizenship in the United Kingdom prior to the 2016 Federal election but had allowed her case to go to the high court after what she said were attacks by the Coalition government.

She has signed a declaration for the ACT Legislative Assembly which said that she had met all the requirement for becoming a senator when she had bene put forward to replace Kate Lundy. Gallagher’s lawyer argued that Ms Gallagher shouldn’t be penalised because of red tape delays in the United Kingdom’s public service which prevented her from getting her citizenship renounced prior to the election.

The Commonwealth has argued against this claim and has said that Ms Gallagher did not practise due diligence.

The Labor party will likely watch the judgement in the case of Ms Gallagher’s case as other opposition MP’s fall under the same citizenship doubts.

Speculation says that if Ms Gallagher is disqualified from parliament she may get a nomination as Labor’s candidate for the newly made ACT Lower House electorate. During the dual-citizenship saga five sitting parliament members were disqualified.

This was followed by the resignation of 4 parliamentarians after the High Court judgement. A new parliamentary committee is looking at whether the constitution should be changed to reflect the multicultural nature of Australia’s government so as to avoid legal loopholes that have created the citizenship saga.