May 2018

© Commonwealth of Australia 2018
ISBN: 978-1-74366-786-6

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View the report as separate downloadable parts:

Chair's Foreword

Terms of Reference


List of Recommendations

Executive Summary

  Impact of section 44
  Impact on individuals
  Historical context
  The way forward

1. Introduction


2. The history and interpretation of section 44

  The original Constitutional debates
  Twentieth century proposed reforms
  High Court consideration of section 44

3. Parliamentary qualifications and disqualifications

  Qualifications in section 34
  Disqualifications in section 44
  What problems does section 44 cause?
  The timing of disqualification
  How many Australians are potentially affected?
  Two scenarios
  Other parliaments in Australia and overseas

4. Reform options

  Early measures
  Option 1–No constitutional change
  Option 2–Administrative reforms
  Option 3–Legislative and procedural reforms
  Option 4–Amend s. 44 to allow the Parliament to set the rules for disqualification
  Option 5–Repealing s. 44
  Broader Constitutional amendments
  The referendum process

5. Committee view

  Underlying principles
   Financial conflicts of interest
  Requirement for constitutional change
  Process of constitutional change
  Without constitutional change

A. Understanding section 44

B. Extracts from the Constitution


C. Senate citizenship register

D. House of Representatives citizenship register

E. The Court of Disputed Returns

F. Extracts: 1976, 1983 and 1985 Constitutional Conventions

G. Further reading

H. Submissions and Exhibits


I. Public hearings

Minority report

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters
PO Box 6021
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 2374