Thursday, January 30, 2014

Teresa May can take away your citizenship !

When I read this morning about the last minute government amendment to remove UK citizenship from terrorists, I immediately thought of the UN Convention on Reduction of Statelessness 1961 under which the UK can remove citizenship on grounds that a person "conducted himself in a manner seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the State;".  The UK took advantage of a provision in the convention which allows this as long as the state concerned specified it at the time of signing the convention.   However, Article 8.4 of the convention requires a right to a fair hearing by a court or other independent body.  The government amendment does not provide for this.  There is a further Labour amendment which does.
People may think, "What the hell ? They're terrorists. Kick 'em out" but we do have a tradition of fair trials in this country.  Teresa May is giving herself the power to remove someone's citizenship and their right to a fair trial because she is satisfied "... that the deprivation is conducive to the public good because the person, while having that citizenship status, has conducted him or herself in a manner which is seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom, any of the Islands, or any British overseas territory."

Can any Liberal agree that a government minister acting alone can decide that an individual is no longer a citizen, without any judicial proceeding whatever ?

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