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Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Page: 9607

Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandAttorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (12:39): In relation to section 33AA, which, as you say, is the renunciation by conduct provision, the onlydecision which will result in a loss of citizenship is a decision by a person to renounce their allegiance to Australia by engaging in one of the specified forms of terrorist conduct set out in the section. As I explained yesterday, under section 33AA, which is based on a very longstanding provision going back to 1948, no decision is made by a government decision maker which has the result of the person losing their citizenship. The decision to renounce their citizenship is a decision for the person who does the renunciation constituted by the act.

Senator McKim, you asked about burden of proof but I think you meant standard of proof, which is a term used to describe the level of satisfaction that a court must have in judicial proceedings, but section 33AA does not operate as a judicial proceeding—there is no judicial proceeding involved. In fact, as I said to you a moment ago, there is no governmental decision of a legislative, executive or judicial character involved. It is merely the deeming by this provision, were this bill to be passed, of certain conduct to constitute the renunciation of citizenship and the renunciation of citizenship is complete upon the engagement in that conduct. So that issue just does not arise.