عنوان مقاله [English]
The concept of “Deprivation of Nationality” is the opposite of granting nationality and it refers to unilateral act by state in order to cut the nationality relation as a punishment against the citizen’s offenses and crimes. Although the law of deprivation of nationality is determined within the domestic law of each country, But the legitimacy of deprivation of nationality is conditional on observing International Human Rights Law. International rules have been identified which limits the competence and authority of states and if they don’t observe these rules on deprivation decision, it will consider arbitrary and illegitimate. These rules are including “prohibition of discrimination, prohibition of statelessness, and prohibition of deprivation against procedural standards ''.
In the summer of 2012 first reports emerged of so-called “Foreign Fighters” leaving their residence countries to join ISIS. The International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence estimates that some 4,000 foreign fighters from Western Europe have joined ISIL. As the fighters join ISIL, many terrorist attacks took place in Europe. So the European countries including France, Belgium, and UK tried to extend the authorities of deprivation of nationality. Here’s a look at the rules on deprivation of nationality in UK, France and Belgium and the amendments they implemented after terrorist acts, and then the compliance of these rules with the provisions of international human rights will be reviewed.
The basis of nationality law in UK is The British Nationality Act 1981. After the emergence of foreign fighters phenomenon, section 66 of 2014 act amended section 40 of 1981 act which enable home Secretary to deprive person of British nationality whether or not it will render them statelessness where the person acquired nationality as a result of naturalization and conducted in a manner seriously prejudicial to the vital interest of UK. The government response to those jihadists who had only British nationality, due to protection against statelessness, was “Temporary Exclusion Order” that prevents individuals from returning without permit of Secretary of State.
In France, citizenship deprivation is regulated by French Civil Code that sets down the rules for acquisition and loss of nationality. Citizenship deprivation is applicable only to naturalized citizens and citizens who are dual-national. The law of 2014 criminalized the individual perpetration to commit a terrorist act and other crimes related to terrorism. The new article 34 provides that we have an alternative for loss of nationality in cases that individual are single national and depriving them of nationality will render them statelessness, and that is deprivation of “The rights attached to nationality”( which comprises of civic rights) due to prevention of statelessness.
Deprivation of Belgian nationality are regulated by article 8 and 9 of the constitution and by the Belgian Nationality Code ( BNC). Starting in 2012, in a serious of rapid changes the legal framework for deprivation was altered. A first modification was brought with the act of 4 December 2012 that makes it difficult to acquire Belgian nationality and also strengthened the provision on deprivation; a new article 23 made it possible to deprive a person of nationality in case of conviction for terrorist crime and sentenced to at least 5 years imprisonment. The mechanism of deprivation of nationality was extended to new terrorist crimes and there is no time limit about deprivation. Article 23 of BNC contains no provision that any deprivation should not take place if this would render the individual stateless. This would be contrary to article 7(3) of the European nationality law, The 1961 Convention on Reduction of statelessness and article 15 of Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which permit this only where the person acquired nationality by fraud.
Results of this investigation suggest that the three aforementioned countries have implemented significant reforms to expand the powers of deprivation of nationality. However, these countries have taken different paths in their reforms and, therefore, their compliance with the provisions of international law have not been the same. UK and France, while expanding powers of deprivation of nationality, have tried to observe the principle of avoidance of statelessness, and have resorted to other forms of punishment with regard to terrorist convicts with single nationality, unlike Belgium which has made no provision to guarantee the avoidance of statelessness in its reforms.