Re Patterson Ex parte Taylor [2001] HCA 51

Re Patterson Ex parte Taylor [2001] HCA 51 

“The notion that an individual became a British subject at birth anywhere within the dominions of the Imperial Crown and by reason of allegiance to the Imperial Crown, had been abandoned both in the United Kingdom and in Australia before the birth of the prosecutor. The post-war legislation in both countries, the 1948 UK Act and the Citizenship Act, recognised that the metaphysical indivisibility of the Imperial Crown no longer made constitutional or political sense. Notions of allegiance as the factum upon which nationality laws and status turned were accommodated to international realities consequent upon the disappearance of the British Empire. Those realities were reflected in the Royal Style and Titles Act 1953 (Cth). This recited an agreement reached at a meeting of British Commonwealth Prime Ministers in London in December 1952 that “the Style and Titles at present appertaining to the Crown are not in accord with current constitutional relationships within the British Commonwealth”. It may be accepted that, at the time of federation, the state of subjection identified in s 117 was to the indivisible Imperial Crown. But, as a result of the changes made in the constitutional relationships within the British Commonwealth which were reflected in the various statutory provisions that were made between 1948 and 1953 and are mentioned earlier, the allegiance owed by the subjects spoken of in s 117 was to the Crown in its Australian politic capacity. There no longer was in constitutional theory or political reality the Imperial Crown of earlier days. To continue to read s 117 as it had been read initially would have been to deprive it of any useful operation.”

Click to access re-patterson-ex-parte-taylor-2001-hca-51.pdf