Shamima Begum: legality of revoking British citizenship of Islamic State teenager hangs on her heritage

Devyani Prabhat, University of Bristol

Sajiv Javid’s decision to revoke the citizenship of Shamima Begum, the 19-year-old from Bethnal Green who left to join Islamic State in 2015, has been met with mixed reaction. While some supported the home secretary’s decision, others have expressed concern about its implications. Continue reading

Citizenship Exclusion: Canada and the British Example

Dr Devyani Prabhat, Lecturer in Law, School of Law

Dr Devyani Prabhat, Lecturer in Law, School of Law

Earlier I posted on this blog how British citizenship is being increasingly shaped by foreign nationality laws. Foreign nationality laws become relevant in cases where a person is a dual citizen and is about to lose British citizenship.  The common scenario is of national security cases where the government may decide to strip terrorism suspects of their British citizenship.  Until recently, the government had to ensure the person affected had a remaining citizenship.  This was to prevent creating statelessness.  Affected people could challenge the loss of their British citizenship on the ground that they did not have any other citizenship to call their own.  The court would then have to examine foreign nationality laws to determine if this was correct. In my last post I criticised how this exercise often becomes a technical assessment of foreign laws. Substantive rights arguments usually did not come up in these cases despite there being clear implications for right to family life (Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, ECHR) and right to fair trial (Article 6, ECHR).  At that time I did not anticipate the rapid change of law that has made even the technical considerations of statelessness mostly redundant.

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