David Bennett QC, the barrister for Nationals Senator Matt Canavan, arrives for the High Court sitting at the Commonwealth Law Courts in Brisbane on Thursday.
David Bennett QC, the barrister for Nationals Senator Matt Canavan, arrives for the High Court sitting at the Commonwealth Law Courts in Brisbane on Thursday. DARREN ENGLAND

High Court case won't be heard until October 10

A HIGH Court case over five federal MPs citizenship will not be heard until October 10 although Chief Justice Susan Kiefel accepts the case has "a high degree of importance".

At a directions hearing on the cases in Brisbane yesterday, Justice Kiefel also indicated she would agree with the Solicitor-General's call for all of the cases to be heard together.

She pointed out the cases arose in "unusual circumstances".

The court has heard that the cases of Senator Fiona Nash and Nick Xenophon would join and were unlikely to delay proceedings.

Five dual citizenship cases will be the subject of the directions hearing - involving Barnaby Joyce, Matt Canavan, Malcolm Roberts, Scott Ludlum and Larissa Waters.

Senator Canavan's barrister told the court they would produce evidence that shows up to 50% of the population was a citizen of another country by descent and would therefore be disqualified from Federal politics.

He said it was "so ridiculous" that Section 44 "should exclude citizenship by descent".

He said Senator Canavan had the "slenderest of connections" to Italy.

The court heard One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts' case was "quite different to the others".

The Solicitor-General said Mr Roberts fell under the category where he knew he was a citizen of the UK.

The court will look at whether he took reasonable steps to denounce his UK citizenship prior to taking office. 



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