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Fact sheet

Fact Check: Can High Court justices be dual citizens?

Dual citizenship Judges

Australia's dual citizenship saga continued to claim victims, with the High Court finding some MPs ineligible to sit in parliament. Meanwhile, Professor Graeme Orr from the University of Queensland pointed out that High Court justices could hold dual citizens but parliamentarians could not. Professor Orr's claim checks out. The Australian Constitution does not prevent dual citizens from sitting as High Court judges. Under the constitution, justices of the High Court are appointed by the governor-general in council, effectively the government of the day. A Commonwealth law ' the High Court Act 1979 ' states that to be eligible for appointment, a justice has to have been a judge of a Commonwealth, state or territory court (other than the Local Court of the Northern Territory) or an Australian barrister or solicitor for at least five years. The prohibition on dual citizenship for federal politicians could be seen as a unique aspect of the Australian system. Dual citizens are able to sit in state and territory parliaments, subject to some exceptions for people who obtain foreign citizenship while in parliament.
Verdict: Checks Out

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