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Halt court action, One Nation senator says

AAP logoAAP 16/11/2016 Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer

One Nation senator Rod Culleton has called for a postponement of a High Court case against him, arguing it would be in breach of a law governing members of parliament.

However AAP understands the directions hearing will go ahead as planned in Canberra on Monday before one High Court judge, and Senator Culleton will have to make his case for an adjournment then.

Senator Culleton is being taken to the Court of Disputed Returns by the federal government over his alleged ineligibility to run for parliament in the July election because of a larceny conviction.

Under the constitution anyone with a conviction which carries a potential jail term of a year or more is not eligible to be in parliament.

Senator Culleton has asked for an adjournment of the directions hearing because parliament is sitting that day and being asked to attend court is in breach of the Parliamentary Privileges Act, the senator wrote on his Facebook page.

The West Australian senator, who is representing himself in the case, said he had contacted the court and "they have no idea what is going on with my case".

He claimed he hadn't been provided with any official documentation or referral regarding being required to attend the court on Monday.

As well, the court had not yet addressed errors in its own rules, which were admitted by Attorney-General George Brandis in parliament.

"They must first fix this so that it abides by the High Court of Australia Act 1979," Senator Culleton said.

Section 14 of the Parliamentary Privileges Act says a member of parliament shall not be required to attend a court on any day when parliament is siting.

A High Court spokesman confirmed Senator Culleton had been notified and it was up to him whether he turned up to the directions hearing.

If he was to seek an adjournment then he or his lawyer would have to make an application.

A spokesman for Senator Brandis said the timing of the hearing was a matter for the court and not the government.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has described the case as important in upholding the constitution.

According to a court notice issued on November 9, anyone who wished to place evidence before the Court of Disputed Returns, or make a submission, had until 12 noon on Thursday to do so.

The directions hearing is set down for 11.30am AEDT on Monday.

The matter of former Family First senator Bob Day's eligibility will also be heard at the same time.

Mr Day's eligibility is being challenged on the grounds he received an indirect benefit from the government in relation to his Adelaide electorate office.

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