More or less secure? Nationality questions, deportation and dual nationality

Kim Rubenstein, Niamh Lenagh-Maguire

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Recent trends in some countries suggest that dual nationality has made individuals more vulnerable to deportation than single nationals of a nation state. Is this appropriate and what does it mean for the meaning of nationality and statelessness under national and international law? In this chapter we argue that countries should commit to a broader notion of membership than nationality, drawing upon the UN Human Rights Committee’s jurisprudence. By examining the meaning of one’s ‘own country’ and the extent it protects against deportation we argue for a more secure membership for individuals with dual citizenship. The structure of this chapter reflects the distinction between the concepts of ʼnationality’ in international law and the ‘citizenship’ created and regulated by domestic legal regimes. While both terms are used broadly to describe an individual’s status as a member of a nation state, there is more than a semantic difference between the two ideas: ‘Conceptually and linguistically - the terms emphasise two different aspects of the same notion - "Nationality" stresses the international, "citizenship" the national, municipal aspect.’ For the purposes of this chapter, we take ʼnationality’ to mean the legal relationship between an individual and a nation state that is recognized under international law, and ‘citizenship’ to mean the relationship created or recognized by the domestic laws of states. We first examine the concept of ‘dual nationality’ in terms of international law before analyzing the domestic citizenship laws of two countries - namely the United Kingdom and Australia - in order to highlight the tensions between the idea of ‘effective nationality’ and modern, multiple citizenships.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNationality and Statelessness Under International Law
EditorsAlice Edwards, Laura van Waas
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781139506007
ISBN (Print)9781107032446
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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