Meaning of ‘Australia’

Crotty v Minister for Immigration [2020] AATA 39

A person born overseas can become a citizen if a parent was a citizen at the time of birth and that person has been in Australia for a total of 2 years10.  Crotty’s mother fell short by 65 days.  He argued this was made up by her residing at an Australian diplomatic mission overseas, and that ‘Australia’ meant any area subject to Australian law11.

Pascoe DP rejected this argument, referring (at [26]) to the fiction that foreign missions are outside the territory of the receiving State12.  That fiction, another recent case noted, had been further popularised by an episode of The Simpsons13iTip – the Russian Embassy is not a little piece of Russia.

This case is from Episode 57 of interpretation NOW!


10 s 16(2) of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007.

11 cf s 2B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

12 Magno (1992) 37 FCR 298 (at 321), Petroff (1971) 17 FLR 438.

13 Woutersz [2017] ACTSC 212 (at [46]), (1995) Season 6, Episode 16.