UK backs stripping citizenship over terrorism

Interesting amendment in light of the Canadian hearings on Bill C-24 Citizenship Act on the revocation provisions.

Shimon Fogel of CIJA took great pains in his testimony to state that Israel’s law of return only granted the right to citizenship; people still have to apply formally for citizenship. Under the UK approach, the law of return would mean that revocation in the case of Jews would not require them to formally take up Israeli citizenship – just having the right would be enough.

The proposed Canadian approach is that one has to have dual citizenship, not potentially have dual citizenship, plus a court process rather than Ministerial discretion. But the onus of proof is on the person the government proposes to revoke his or her citizenship:

In April, the upper house of the British parliament had rejected the measure proposed by Theresa May, the UK’s interior minister, but passed the law on Monday after a government amendment.

Members of the house voted 286 to 193 in favour of the amended legislation, peers from the opposition Labour party voted against.

The lords reversed course after May accepted the addition of a clause that would only allow citizenship to be taken away if there were “reasonable grounds” to believe suspects could acquire another nationality.

UK backs stripping citizenship over terrorism – Europe – Al Jazeera English.

The NY Times also covers this:

Britain has been one of the few Western countries that can revoke citizenship and its associated rights from dual citizens, even native-born Britons, if they are suspected or convicted of acts of terrorism or disloyalty. The government has stepped up its use of this tactic in recent years. In two cases, suspects have subsequently been killed in American drone strikes.

The new rules will broaden these so-called deprivation powers to include Britons who have no second nationality, provided that they were naturalized as adults. If the home secretary deems that their citizenship is “seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom,” it can be taken away, effective immediately, without a public hearing. A suspect whose citizenship rights have been stripped has 28 days to appeal to a special immigration court.

 Britain Expands Power to Strip Citizenship From Terrorism Suspects

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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