Thursday, 26 August 2004


The ongoing Senate inquiry into an Australian Republic - headed up by half a dozen of our elected public servants - continues to throw up misunderstandings of Australia's constitutional arrangements by some our elected public servants.

Firstly, it was Senator Natasha Stott Despoja at the Adelaide hearing on 19 May who didn't know that she is a subject of the Queen of Australia.

Now it is Senator Bolkus, the Chairman of the Senate Inquiry, who shows off his ignorance about our Constitutional arrangements. At the Canberra hearing on Thursday, 29 July 2004, Senator Bolkus stated "I am then required on entering parliament to swear allegiance to a foreign power".

Senator Bolkus should note that Gibbs CJ in the "Pochi v Macphee" case found that "The Allegiance which Australians owe to Her Majesty is owed not as British subjects but as subjects of the Queen of Australia".

Additionally, the High Court decision (High Court of Australia, Gleeson CJ, Gaudron, McHugh, Gummow, Kirby, Hayne and Callinan JJ - Sue v Hill [1999] HCA 30 - 23 June 1999 - S179/1998 and B49/1998) relating to the Henry (Nai Leung) Sue - Petitioner and Heather Hill & ANOR Respondents case in which Heather Hill lost her right to take her place in the Senate post the 1998 Federal election further confirms the constitutional reality.

The High Court confirmed that the Queen of Australia does not act as a foreign Queen. One of the main arguments that was raised by Heather Hill was that the Queen of Australia is the same person as the Queen of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. Therefore swearing allegiance to the Queen of Australia was the same as swearing allegiance to the Queen of the United Kingdom and Northern
Ireland. This argument was rejected by the Court on the basis that whilst physically it is the same person (Queen Elizabeth II) they are "independent and distinct" legal personalities. This notion is known as the divisibility of the Crown which Justice Gaudron found to be "implicit in the Constitution."

Senator Bolkus would be well advised to visit the web site to brush up on his understanding about the Queen of Australia.

It is indeed unfortunate that people conducting the Senate Inquiry lack real knowledge and understanding about our magnificent Constitutional arrangements!

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