The High Court has ruled that Rodney Culleton was ineligible to be nominated for last year’s Senate election.
Culleton’s position as a senator is now vacant and the High Court has ruled that a recount of votes should take place. This is most likely to result in the election of Peter Georgiou, Culleton’s brother-in-law and the number two candidate on the Western Australian One Nation ticket last year.
The decision by Justices Kiefel, Bell, Gageler, Keane and Nettle was unanimous. Justice Nettle offered reasons which varied in some respects with his colleagues (see decision below).
Sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, the court held that at the time of the election Culleton was convicted and subject to be sentenced for an offence punishable by imprisonment for one year or longer. Under Section 44(ii) of the Constitution, this renders Culleton ineligible to be chosen as a senator.