Opinion

How we can render returning jihadis stateless – Government opinion by QC

  1. EVOLUTION OF THE POWER International treaties 2.1. Two principal international Conventions seek to avoid incidents of statelessness. They are: (a) The 1961 UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness [the 1961 Convention]; and (b) The Council of Europe’s 1997 European Convention on Nationality [the 1997 Convention]. 2.2. In the view of the Government, neither of those Conventions prevents the United Kingdom from using the power under review to render a person stateless. That is, in summary, because: (a) Though the United Kingdom ratified the 1961 Convention, it was entitled according to the terms of that Convention to retain a pre-existing domestic law power to deprive a person of their nationality if the person had “conducted himself in a manner seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the state”.8 Such a power is said to have existed at the time under the British Nationality Act 1948 [BNA 1948]. 9 (b) Though the 1997 Convention absolutely prohibited deprivation resulting in statelessness, save where nationality had been obtained by misrepresentation or fraud,10 it was never ratified by the United Kingdom.

 

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