- The dual citizenship case that has gripped the nation was decided in a decisive, single joint judgment of the High Court of Australia. Re Canavan; Re Ludlam; Re Waters; Re Roberts; Re Joyce; Re Nash; Re Xenophon  HCA 45, emphatically reaffirms the decision in Sykes v Cleary (1992) 176 CLR 77 and upholds the literal meaning of s 44 of the Constitution.
- The Court found that the ‘stability’ of representative government requires that so far as possible, elections should be conducted with certainty, and hence that the grounds of disqualification in s 44 should be given a clear and uncomplicated meaning.
- The decision has led to a call for two further responses. One is for a series of declarations by all sitting members of Parliament supposed to determine once and for all whether any more of them fail to satisfy s 44. The other is that steps should be taken for a referendum to rewrite s 44 in a manner both simpler and more appropriate to contemporary Australian conditions.
Senator Nick Xenophon was OK: although it employed the word ‘Citizen’, his status as a ‘British Overseas Citizen’ conferred such limited rights and privileges that it did not amount to ‘citizenship’. Senator Matt Canavan was given the benefit of the doubt. The other five persons before the High Court (sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns) were not validly elected in 2016 because, at the time of nomination, each was a citizen of a foreign power. Barnaby Joyce, the Leader of the National Party and erstwhile Deputy Prime Minister, was a New Zealand citizen, as was Scott Ludlam. Larissa Waters was a Canadian citizen. Fiona Nash and Malcolm Roberts were British by descent.
In a single joint judgment by a unanimous Court , Re Canavan; Re Ludlam; Re Waters; Re Roberts; Re Joyce; Re Nash; Re Xenophon  HCA 45 (27 October 2017), emphatically reaffirms the decision in Sykes v Cleary (1992) 176 CLR 77;  HCA 60 (cited in 32 of the 75 footnotes to the judgment). Sue v Hill (1999) 199 CLR 462;  HCA 30 is mentioned only once, at , and then only because it confirms the approach that was taken in Sykes v Cleary.