High Court of Australia

Love v Commonwealth of Australia [2020] HCA 3

Thoms v Commonwealth of Australia

11 Feb 2020

Case Number: B43/2018 B64/2018

Before

KIEFEL CJ, BELL, GAGELER, KEANE, NETTLE, GORDON, EDELMAN JJ

Catchwords

Constitutional law (Cth) – Powers of Commonwealth Parliament – Power to make laws with respect to naturalisation and aliens – Meaning of "aliens" – Where plaintiffs foreign citizens, born outside Australia, who did not acquire Australian citizenship – Where plaintiffs biological descendants of indigenous peoples – Where plaintiffs' visas cancelled under s 501(3A) of Migration Act 1958 (Cth) – Whether statutory citizenship and constitutional alienage co-terminous – Whether an Aboriginal Australian (defined according to tripartite test in Mabo v Queensland [No 2] (1992) 175 CLR 1) can be "alien" within meaning of s 51(xix) of Constitution – Whether s 51(xix) supports application of ss 14, 189 and 198 of Migration Act to plaintiffs – Whether plaintiffs satisfy tripartite test.

Words and phrases – "Aboriginal Australian", "alienage", "aliens", "allegiance", "body politic", "citizen", "connection to country", "essential meaning", "foreign citizen", "indicia of alienage", "nationality", "non-alien", "non-alienage", "non-citizen", "obligation of protection", "political community", "polity", "sovereignty", "spiritual connection", "subject", "territory", "traditional laws and customs", "tripartite test", "unlawful non-citizen".

Constitution – s 51(xix), (xxvii).

Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Cth) – ss 12, 13, 14, 15, 16.

Migration Act 1958 (Cth) – ss 5, 14, 189, 196, 198, 200, 501.
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