March 31, 2022Counter-Terrorism Repatriation Citizenship
The submission sets out RSI's and ISI's concerns that the UK's existing powers to deprive people of nationality on grounds of national security - and the way the UK uses these powers - are contrary to the UK's obligations under international law to reduce statelessness, prevent arbitrary or discriminatory deprivation of nationality, and respect the rights to fair proceedings and effective remedies. The impact of the use of these powers on individuals, families, and communities is disproportionate and pervasive, resulting in violations of a range of other human rights.
The submission takes a current and historical look at the UK's nationality deprivation powers and practices and reviews them against the standards set by international human rights treaties, as consolidated in the Principles on Deprivation of Nationality as a National Security Measure. The key treaties considered in the submission are the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The submission details RSI's and ISI's four key concerns with the UK's nationality deprivation powers and practices:
That they provide for abitrary deprivation of British nationality, as they are insufficiently clear and precise, unnecessary, and disproportionate to a legitimate aim;
That they do not provide for adequate procedural safeguards to ensure the right to fair proceedings for people deprived of British nationality;
That they do not provide for adequate safeguards against statelessness, and - as UK courts have confirmed - have been used in such a way as to render people stateless; and
That they are discriminatory in nature and impact, and have been used disproportionately against people from Muslim and migrant communities.
As a result, RSI and ISI call on reviewing States to recommend that the UK:
Impose a moratorium on the practice of nationality deprivation;
Review and revise its nationality deprivation laws to bring them in line with international standards and principles of natural justice;
Ensure that it does not instrumentalise nationality deprivation in order to evade its human rights responsibilities;
Take positive steps to remedy the racialised and Islamophobic impact of its nationality deprivation practice, including building trust with affected communities; and
Publish in a timely manner information on how many people have had their British nationality removed, broken down according to protected characteristics.
The full submission can be downloaded, below.
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