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IS THERE A HUMAN RIGHT TO CITIZENSHIP?

Yes, you do have a right to citizenship.

‘Citizenship’ can mean different things to each of us. One way is to think of it as the:

Collection of rights, duties, and opportunities for participation that define the extent of socio-political membership within a community…it is about the interaction and relationship between individuals and between the state and individuals.

(Kim Rubenstein, Australian Citizenship Law in Context, (Lawbook Co, 2002) pp. 4-5.)

But citizenship is arguably just as much about identity and belonging as it is about your legal status. It’s important.

When you think about your own right to citizenship ask yourself what it really means to you, what value you place on it, and when is it acceptable for a government to strip away citizenship rights?

As an American judge once said in the case of Trop v Dulles (1958):

Citizenship is not a licence that expires on misbehaviour ... And the deprivation of citizenship is not a weapon that the government may use to express its displeasure at a citizen's conduct, however reprehensible that conduct may be.”

Nevertheless, there are circumstances in which one’s Australian citizenship can be removed.

 
 

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