Nationality and statelessness under international law pdf
On the Right to Have Nationality Rights: Statelessness, Citizenship and Human Rights | SpringerLinkNetherlands International Law Review. The fundamental deprivation of human rights is manifested first and above all in the deprivation of a place in the world which makes opinions significant and actions effective. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism Equality, in contrast to all that is involved in mere existence, is not given us, but is the result of human organization insofar as it is guided by the principle of justice. We are not born equal; we become equal as members of a group on the strength of our decision to guarantee ourselves mutually equal rights. Our political life rests on the assumption that we can produce equality through organization, because man can act in and change and build a common world, together with his equals and only with his equals.
The protection of stateless persons has long been understood as a challenge for the international community. However, for many of the past 60 years, a prioritized focus on refugees has dominated, or even eclipsed, the plight and protection needs of stateless persons. Guy Goodwin-Gill has long argued for a refocus of international attention and effort on the plight, predicament, and protection needs of stateless persons. In light of developments since this incisive analysis, this article examines the challenge set by Goodwin-Gill for the international community, namely, to provide greater recognition of and protection for stateless persons. It celebrates the positive developments and identifies areas of ongoing challenge.
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 persons who are stateless have never crossed an international border. Conflicting nationality laws are one of many 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. If the child were born in India and neither parent had Indian citizenship, then the child would be stateless since India only confers citizenship to children born to at least one Indian parent. Although many states allow the acquisition of nationality through parental descent irrespective of where the child is born, some do not allow female citizens to confer nationality to their children.
In the early 20 th century, regulating access to nationality fell entirely within the reserved domain of states and was not subject to any rules of international law. It was not long before the first international rules were put in place. In the end, just three questions remained when the League of Nations proceeded to convene of a conference to codify international rules: Nationality; Territorial Waters; and Responsibility of States for Damage done in Their Territory to the Person or Property of Foreigners. On a brisk spring day in April , delegates at Codification Conference in the Hague adopted the Convention on certain questions relating to the conflict of nationality laws , along with three Protocols. When the Second World War concluded, among the challenges that states were left to confront was the large-scale displacement and denationalisation of people which had accompanied the conflict. The findings of the study prompted the inclusion of statelessness in the early work of the UN. Eventually, three instruments were elaborated.
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. For example, diplomatic protection, right to reentry, and residence are typical benefits conferred on nationals of the state.
The right to a nationality is a fundamental human right. It implies the right of each individual to acquire, change and retain a nationality. International human rights law provides that the right of States to decide who their nationals are is not absolute and, in particular, States must comply with their human rights obligations concerning the granting and loss of nationality. The right to retain a nationality corresponds to the prohibition of arbitrary deprivation of nationality. Arbitrary deprivation of nationality, therefore, effectively places the affected persons in a more disadvantaged situation concerning the enjoyment of their human rights because some of these rights may be subjected to lawful limitations that otherwise would not apply, but also because these persons are placed in a situation of increased vulnerability to human rights violations. The issue of nationality is also regulated in the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.