Nationality And Statelessness Under International Law Pdf

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The right to a nationality is of paramount importance to the realization of other fundamental human rights. Possession of a nationality carries with it the diplomatic protection of the country of nationality and is also often a legal or practical requirement for the exercise of fundamental rights.

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Nationality and Statelessness in International Law

Citizenship deprivation and statelessness are very much back in fashion. States increasingly resort to such measures to deal with those returning from foreign wars, or as a sanction for those otherwise deemed undesirable and unwanted — it must certainly seem easier than living up to their obligations actually to combat terrorist activities or war crimes or crimes against humanity see here.

Among others, the State must ensure that they do not violate human rights and that they do not harm other States, whether through cross-border pollution, transnational criminal activities, or even by reason of their having to seek asylum from persecution, conflict or the risk of other serious harm. What is more, these responsibilities also apply after the fact, obliging States to do what may be required, for example, through prosecution and punishment, to uphold the integrity and efficacy of internationally agreed measures — to punish torturers, or those who have engaged in internationally proscribed terrorist activities; in short, to recognize and accept responsibility for those who have been formed among us, no matter how wrong the path subsequently chosen.

When citizenship enters the picture, does international law have much to say? And international law does have something to say, recognizing the link between people and territory, between the individual and their own country, between the competence to expel and the duty to admit.

These are pressing issues. That history is important, nonetheless. Somehow, Number 2, Kings Bench Walk survived, as did much of the work of the committee meeting that Friday, 27 September — the committee on the status of stateless persons.

It was chaired by Norman Bentwich, a former Attorney General of Palestine, whose zionism had caused problems for the local Arab population and whose support for Arab-Jewish rapprochement led to difficulties from other quarters including from one Avraham Stern…. But now, with Bentwich in the chair, the Committee set to work. Erwin Loewenfeld, formerly a lawyer in Berlin now requalified in Britain, was charged with completing a study on the issues, which was duly published in in the Transactions of the Grotius Society ; it remains a seminal article, with many valuable insights into the nature of statelessness and the quality of protection and lack of protection.

The Committee and other members of the Grotius Society worked on through the Blitz, and were soon joined by Paul Weis, an Austrian refugee.

Not surprisingly, the Anschluss with Nazi Germany and his own social democratic leanings promptly led to incarceration in Dachau — a concentration camp for political prisoners, communists, trade unionists and others of that ilk. But Paul Weis had three formidable sisters and they somehow got him out and back to Vienna where he tried his best, without success, to get a visa for the US.

His interest in legal matters had not disappeared, however, and he began to write, particularly on nationality and on the plight of the stateless and the refugee. A detailed analysis of Nazi citizenship legislation soon followed for the Association of Jewish Refugees in Great Britain, and then a set of rules on nationality and the prevention of statelessness for the Grotius Society.

Paul Weis was naturalized in , just in time for a move to Geneva to work for the International Refugee Organization. He attended some sessions of the Commission on Human Rights as it drafted the Universal Declaration, worked with Manley Hudson at Harvard on nationality issues, and then with the setting up of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR in , he became legal adviser there and later chief of the legal department, remaining until his retirement in All of this is but to situate Foster and Lambert in a long line of practice and scholarship.

Once, the stateless person and the refugee were treated more or less identically, sharing in common the fact that neither of them enjoyed the protection of any State or government. It was expected that they would be complementary and overlapping, for a stateless person might be a refugee, and a refugee might also be a stateless person, but not necessarily so. In practice, however, as the authors point out, protection for the stateless, as refugees , has lagged behind; and those who should have been protected, as refugees and in light of their statelessness, have not received their due.

Foster and Lambert show that it has not always been understood how the denial or deprivation of nationality are themselves to be seen as juridically relevant facts in the identification of persecution or well-founded fear. Some of this has changed with developments in our understanding of human rights, and in our appreciation of how, from the perspective of international law, the individual stands in his or her relation to the State, and of how the foundation of statelessness whether arising from the denial or deprivation of citizenship lies often in the always questionable realm of discrimination — ethnic, religious, gender, political, and so forth.

A number of practical and theoretical obstacles nevertheless remain. The sense remains, at times, of unbridled discretion, of a competence unconfined by law, and yet this discourse is already taking place within the framework of law, in which international lawyers will be ready to find the necessary and inherent limits of a power conferred and confined by law. Fortunately, international law has a dynamic aspect, a changing role in social and political context, growing, moving along, not necessarily in a linear sense, but incrementally.

So it is that the limits to sovereign competence are often found in peripheral fields — in the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of race; in the development of protection for those subject to particular treaty regimes, irrespective of or despite citizenship; in the prohibition of arbitrariness in the implementation of human rights; in the duty to recognize the individual as a person before the law and as equal under the law.

It began life in the mids, incidental to work then being done in the Institut de Droit International; Manley O. Hudson modified it a bit and dropped it into the nationality debates in the International Law Commission in see here , and from there it was swept up into the Stateless Persons Convention and so into the lexicon of legal classification. This not to say that issues of principle are absent. Fortunately, Foster and Lambert have done much of the groundwork for these future debates, all of which will be necessary if the stateless are to find protection from ill-treatment at home and abroad; if statelessness is to be eliminated; and if, somehow or other, the right to a nationality, so often proclaimed, is to be attached with certainty to one or another State.

Good books provoke the reader to further thought, to some re-thinking, or to questioning their own assumptions, reasoning or conclusions — the baggage and professional deformation picked up over the years. This one does that, opening up new lines of reasoning for the challenges ahead, new arguments for another agenda.

There are points of difference, naturally; I think it is incorrect, as a matter of international law, history and intent, to seek to force Palestine refugees through the sieve of status determination from which, always having been considered refugees by the international community, they were to be spared see here. Leaving that aside, the authors have nevertheless succeeded in revealing a broader understanding of the refugee definition, and hence of the scope and range of protection available and due under the Convention, and they have clarified several issues that have been unnecessarily complexified by rather pointless, through doubtless well-meaning, over-thinking.

The path to refugee status for those displaced or exiled by governments abandoning their citizenship responsibilities may be easier now, thanks to Foster and Lambert. Blog of the European Journal of International Law.

Nationality and Statelessness in International Law

Weissbrodt bio and Kurt A. Calling on authors who possess extensive experience in international law, research, and practice, the book provides insights as to how international law can best address and prevent the problem of statelessness. The first two chapters serve as an important foundation for the rest of the book by effectively introducing the reader to the basic concepts of nationality, state-lessness, and citizenship. In Chapter 1, Alice Edwards discusses the procedural and substantive aspects of nationality. She uses the Nottebohm case brought before the International Court of Justice after World War II to serve as a reminder that nationality is a matter of domestic law, which can have international consequences. She explains how people procedurally acquire nationality via jus soli, jus sanguinis , and jus domicile.


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Citizenship & Nationality

In international law , a stateless person is someone who is "not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law". However, not all refugees are stateless, and many people who are stateless have never crossed an international border. Conflicting nationality laws are one of the causes of statelessness. A person who does not have either parent eligible to pass citizenship by jus sanguinis can be stateless at birth if born in a state which does not recognize jus soli. For instance, a child born outside Canada to two Canadian parents, who were also born outside Canada to Canadian parents, would not be a Canadian citizen, since jus sanguinis is only recognized for the first generation in Canada.

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3 Comments

  1. Dagma M. 16.06.2021 at 01:04

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  2. Traful V. 19.06.2021 at 06:43

    Citizenship deprivation and statelessness are very much back in fashion.

  3. Melville C. 20.06.2021 at 20:07

    - Nationality and Statelessness Under International Law. Edited by Alice Edwards and Laura Van Waas. Frontmatter. More information.