News

Section 44 of the Constitution



10 January 2013

Professor Anne Twomey comments on the allegations of fraud directed towards former parliamentary Speaker, Peter Slipper.

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, the former Speaker risks losing millions of dollars in retirement benefits if he is convicted of using his government Cabcharge card to tour restaurants and wineries.

The report adds that if convicted, Mr Slipper will have to resign as an MP because the offence is "punishable under the law of the Commonwealth. . . by imprisonment for one year or longer", according to section 44 of the constitution.

The former Speaker may face a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment.
However, Professor Anne Twomey asserts that even if he were sentenced to less than a year in prison, he would still be forced to resign because his alleged offence carries a maximum sentence of longer than one year.

View the entire report - Slipper faces pension dilemma

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