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How to lose your Australian Citizenship


Written By Dion Hawkins
Wed, Jul 1, 2015
Dion Hawkins

The Australian Parliament has introduced a bill amending citizenship laws that would result in dual nationals being stripped of their Australian citizenship if they engage in terrorist related activities. Persons who serve in armed forces of a country at war with Australia or are in the service of a declared terrorist organisation would also have their citizenship cancelled. The draft bill, entitled Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015, can be found here - www.parlinfo.aph.gov.au.

Under the proposal, all Australian citizens, even if they are citizens by birth, would be subject to the new powers.

According to the amendments, there is a first instance obligation by the Minister to issue a notice of cancellation of a dual national’s citizenship where they have engaged in terrorist related activities. The Minister would then have power to waive the cancellation if he/she believed it would be in the public interest to do so; close to an absolute discretion.

At least one aspect of the change that may lead to controversy is that the power appears to allow cancellation based on an accused person’s conduct in circumstances where that person has not participated in a court process, and no finding as to the alleged conduct has been made. The new law also specifically excludes concepts of natural justice.

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