Who Can Be an MP? The Constitution, the High Court and the Disqualification Farce

Mon 16 Oct 2017 6:00pm8:00pm

Venue

St Lucia
Room: 
Room 358 - Physiology Lecture Theatres (Building 63)

The UQLS is proud to announce that Professor Graeme Orr will deliver the 2017 MinterEllison Sir Harry Gibbs Lecture.

Should electors be able to elect any fellow elector? Or should there be constitutional barriers to potential MPs? Are such barriers workable, and what are their impacts on minor party candidates especially?

In the past year, 10 members of the national parliament – at last count - have been the subject of expensive court action. Over issues like ‘dual citizenship’ and ‘pecuniary interest in an agreement with the public service’. Rules which in the main do not apply to State elections. Rules which have 18th and 19th-century roots, in a Constitution that is fairly thin on political values. It does not guarantee a right to vote, for example.

The talk will explore the history and rationales behind the thicket of rules in the Australian Constitution about who can be an MP. It will also explore the arguments behind, and legal and political consequences of, the High Court cases involving Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and six others, which are being heard in October.

About the speaker

Graeme Orr is a professor at the University of Queensland Law School, specialising in the law of politics. His books include The Law of Politics, Ritual and Rhythm in Electoral Systems and The Law of Deliberative Democracy and his PhD explored the history and regulation of electoral bribery. Graeme regularly comments publicly on the rules and norms of politics, with over 100 op-ed pieces in major newspapers and online outlets. He was formerly international editor of the Election Law Journal and in 2014 was elected to the Australian Academy of Law.