Pressure mounting on key One Nation senator
FURTHER questions have been raised over One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts after old travel documents suggest he may have travelled under a UK passport in the past, but the politician continues to state he is only an Australian citizen.
The Senator, who was born in India in 1955 to an Australian mother and Welsh father, has fended off calls to demonstrate he is not a dual citizen.
An outgoing passenger card from July 20, 1956, seems to indicate that Senator Roberts travelled under a UK passport at the time.
The document indicates "UK" under "country of which a citizen is show on passport".
But, as a 13-month-old at the time he would have travelled under a parent's passport as children were not issued their own at that time.
But the document also appears to list Senator Roberts' father Ieuan Roberts as Australian and his mother as from the UK, instead of the other way around.
According to the British Nationality Act of 1948 a person is a British citizen by decent if "a person born after the commencement of this Act shall be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent if his father is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at the time of the birth".
But it also states if they were born in a foreign country their birth must be registered at a UK consulate within one year, or later with permission of the secretary of state.
The Courier-Mail is seeking comment from Senator Roberts on what steps he has taken to ensure he does not hold UK citizenship, or if he ever held it what steps he has taken to renounce it.
Section 44 of the constitution requires someone to have taken all reasonable steps to divest themselves of foreign citizenship to be eligible for election.
He has also released a statutory declaration that he analysed whether he was a UK citizen by decent from his father, or an Indian citizen, and concluded that he was not.
Senator Roberts has taken to social media to say: "Prior to nominating for the Senate I ensured that I was no longer a British or Indian citizen and have necessary documents".
He has also posted that he will release details of a "dual citizenship review" into the eligibility off all Senators.
Senator Pauline Hanson has called for Senator Roberts inquiry to include former Senators to determine if they are eligible to receive a Parliamentary pension.
Constitutional expert and UQ School of Law professor Graeme Orr said allegations that a current MP or Senator was a dual citizen, and therefore ineligible to be elected, could be dealt with in the Senate or House of Representatives, referred by the relevant chamber to the High Court to decide or potentially by an ordinary citizen applying to the High Court.
"The question would be, did Senator Roberts inherit by birth in another country some kind of (Indian) citizenship, or by decent UK citizenship," Prof Orr said.
"If so, what has he done to relinquish it.
"The High Court says the date you were nominated you have to have your dual citizenship resolved."
He said the UK no longer had a rule banning dual citizens from standing for Parliament.