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§ 153. “If a Senator or Member.”

The preceding section enumerates different kinds of status, which, while they continue, disqualify “any person” from becoming or being a senator or a member; this section enumerates different acts or events which, if they are done by or happen to a senator or a member, disqualify him from continuing to be a senator or a member. The preceding section refers to the continuing existence of a disqualifying status; this section to the happening of a disqualifying event. This section therefore deals only with senators or members who were qualified at the time of their election, but who become disqualified afterwards.

The disqualifying event mentioned in sub-sec. i. is the acquirement of any of the kinds of status enumerated in the preceding section. If such status existed at the time of the election, the person affected is not a senator or a member; he is dealt with under the preceding section. But if, after becoming a senator or a member, he “becomes subject to” the disability, eo instanti his seat is vacated under this section.

The disqualifying acts mentioned in sub-secs. ii. and iii. are acts which do not involve a continuing status, but which, if done by a senator or a member, vacate his seat.




  ― 495 ―

Penalty for sitting when disqualified.

46. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, any person declared by this Constitution to be incapable of sitting as a senator or as a member of the House of Representatives shall, for every day on which he so sits, be liable to pay the sum of one hundred pounds to any person who sues for it154 in any court of competent jurisdiction.

HISTORICAL NOTE.—In the Commonwealth Bill of 1891 the clause was substantially the same, except that the words “Until the Parliament otherwise provides” were absent. At the Adelaide session, 1897, the clause was introduced in nearly the same words. In Committee, on Mr. Barton's motion, the words “or disqualified or prohibited from holding any office” were inserted after “House of Representatives;” and the words “or accepts or holds such office” were inserted before “be liable.” (Conv. Deb., Adel., pp. 1198–9.) At the Sydney session, Dr. Quick called attention to the provision for a penalty, which had been decided to be unnecessary in respect of the prohibition against plural voting; and Mr. Barton agreed to bring before the Drafting Committee the question of its omission. (Conv. Deb., Syd., 1897, p. 1034.) Subsequently as a drafting amendment, the words previously inserted as to accepting or holding office were omitted, and the words “until the Parliament otherwise provides” were inserted. At the Melbourne session, verbal amendments were made before the first report and after the fourth report.

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