When the right to vote and the right to run for political office do not coincide

Ignazio Cassis’ renunciation of his Italian citizenship has re-launched the debate on the meaning of political rights – and, in particular, the right to run for political office – in Switzerland. According to Cassis, his decision was necessary – politically, although not legally – in order to be elected to the Federal Council. At the same time, Cassis did not see dual citizenship as an obstacle to vote or to run as a candidate to the Federal Parliament. This episode shows that the right to vote and the right to run for political office are not necessarily aligned.  Read More …

Can Elected Politicians Have Two Passports?

On Wednesday, 1 November, Ignazio Cassis formally replaces outgoing federal councilor Didier Burkhalter as the seventh member of the Federal Council of Switzerland. Born to Italian parents in the Swiss canton of Ticino, Cassis gave up his Italian citizenship just weeks before being elected. His decision sparked a heated debate on whether elected politicians should surrender their foreign passports and renounce their dual citizenship, once elected to a post. In Switzerland, there is no legal obligation to do so.  Read More …

Form over substance? Foreign citizenship and the Australian Parliament

As foreshadowed in our earlier post, the High Court of Australia has now delivered its judgment in a case concerning the eligibility of dual nationals to serve in the Australian parliament. At issue was section 44(i) of Australia’s Constitution which renders ineligible any person who (in addition to being an Australian citizen) is a citizen of a ‘foreign power’. Seven federal parliamentarians faced the Court. Some of them denied that they were foreign citizens and some conceded that they were; most had acquired their non-Australian citizenship Read More …

In Defence of National Identity: The Dual Citizenship Debates in Singapore

As reported by Singapore media (Straits Times) on 8 October 2017, the country celebrated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Singapore citizenship through the 1957 Singapore Citizenship Ordinance. The ordinance was significant because it laid the foundation of the single citizenship regime in the country, which has remained in force in contemporary Singapore. Since the end of the 1990s, the single citizenship principle has been widely debated due to increased pressure from both immigrant and emigrant communities. Read More …

Review of K. Rubenstein, Australian Citizenship Law, Lawbook Company of Australia/Thomson Reuters, Sydney, 2017 (2nd edition).

The story of the Australian citizenship regime – told fully and eloquently in the second edition of Kim Rubenstein’s book Australian Citizenship Law – offers an intriguing insight into how citizenship regimes emerge and evolve in the case of new states, and then reach maturity over decades of intense contestation between different political and legal actors across a federal state.

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Revoking the nationality of convicted jihadists in the Netherlands: an issue of double jeopardy?

As reported by Dutch media on the 22nd of August, the Dutch Minister for Security and Justice is about to apply the provisions on reactive expatriation for the first time to an individual convicted of a terrorist offence in the Netherlands. Under article 14(2)(b) of the Dutch Nationality Act, the individual will consequently lose his Dutch Citizenship and be expelled from the country and lose his right to return.

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Dual Citizen MPs in Australia’s National Parliament – the Barriers Bite

Under the Australian Constitution, a dual citizen of – or anyone with allegiance to – a ‘foreign power’ is not qualified to be elected to or sit in the national parliament.  This provision, which has caused some inconvenience to candidates and MPs in the past, has erupted in 2017. At the time of writing, five current MPs have been referred to the High Court of Australia for breach of the provision, with two more references anticipated and potentially more to be uncovered.

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Dual citizenship and eligibility to serve as a member of Parliament – the evolving story in Australia

A recent drama concerning the citizenship status of seven members of the Australian Parliament has drawn attention to the complex legal landscape surrounding multiple nationality, as well as the specific meaning of a provision of the Australian Constitution that governs eligibility to stand for, or serve in, the Australian Parliament. The provision – section 44 – sets out a range of grounds of ineligibility. Section 44(i) specifically provides …

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Citizenship after Trump

The advent of the Trump Administration has obviously disrupted immigration policy in the United States. We are in for a wild and (if the first months are any guide) scary ride through the next four years, more so with respect to immigration than perhaps any other policy sphere. Although Trump’s unpredictability and lack of core ideological principle supply some slight possibility of immigration reform on a Nixon-in-China model, the early returns are not promising. The coterie around the President seems committed to restrictionist policies, as is his electoral base. Immigrant advocates …

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Loss of Dutch nationality ex lege: EU law, gender and multiple nationality

On 19 April 2017, the Dutch Council of State made a reference to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) concerning the compatibility with EU law of the provisions of the Dutch Nationality Act (DNA) that regulate automatic loss of Dutch nationality in case of dual nationals habitually resident abroad for more than ten years.  In this note we highlight the EU law, gender and dual nationality aspects of the case.

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