Citizenship stripping, fair procedures, and the separation of powers: A note on Damache v. Minister for Justice

Damache concerned a constitutional challenge to s.19 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 (‘the 1956 Act’). This section outlined the statutory process the executive branch – acting through the Minister for Justice (‘the Minister’) – had to follow before revoking a certificate of naturalisation. The Supreme Court of Ireland held that the fact the executive both initiated the proposal to revoke and made the final decision to confirm or dismiss it, was contrary to fair procedures.

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Ghoumid and others v. France: The Grey Hole of Nationality Revocation

Back in 2015, five individuals were deprived of their French nationality. These five individuals challenged the revocation decrees before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHRts). The decision in Ghoumid and others v. France was issued on 26 June 2020. The ECtHRts failed to recognise any violation of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Worse, it created a “grey hole,” i.e., formal protection of the rule of law which is substantially inconsistent. Read More …

The UNHCR Guidelines on Statelessness No.5: Loss and Deprivation of Nationality

In May 2020, UNHCR released its long-awaited Guidelines on Statelessness No.5: Loss and Deprivation of Nationality under Articles 5-9 of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The new Guidelines represent the official UNHCR position on the obligations of states to avoid statelessness as they deprive a person of nationality (by executive act) or provide for its loss (automatic, if certain conditions are fulfilled).

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Reparations for injustice: the German Constitutional Court Decides on Generous Access to Citizenship

A chamber of the German Constitutional Court decided a case concerned with access to German citizenship for a descendant of a Jewish German who had been stripped of his German citizenship by the Nazis. The chamber decision finds that a long established, narrow naturalisation practice vis-à-vis the offspring of those who have been robbed their German nationality by the Nazis is unconstitutional.

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