It's dubious whether the citizenship section of the Australian Constitution which has brought undone several MPs actually achieves its goals, a law expert has told a parliamentary inquiry.
Professor Anne Twomey says citizenship of a foreign country is not really the strongest indicator of a person's allegiance to a foreign power.
"If one's concerned about corrupting influences like other countries, the obvious answer is that these days at least this is far more likely to arise through other things like foreign donations," the Sydney University professor told a joint houses committee on Friday.
She suggested it would be difficult for parliament to avoid a referendum for constitutional reform by legislating to get around section 44(i), which disqualifies dual citizens from being elected to parliament.
And if parliament decided to go down a path of reform there were other elements that should be changed at the same time, Professor Twomey said.
"I think you should look at both qualification and disqualification, and deal with them as a package because there are problems throughout," she said.
Earlier, Australian Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers told the committee his organisation took no responsibility for any of the citizenship issues faced by MPs.
"This is an individual responsibility and it couldn't be any clearer," he said.
But Liberal MP Scott Buchholz sought to defend his colleagues from criticism they were so foolish as to have still breached section 44.
"The point I'm just trying to expose is that I could have availed myself of every piece of information that the AEC had provided in good faith and still have been in breach," he said.
"Yet the opinion of the Australian public of us is still poor and somewhat smeared," he said.