New publication: The Prohibition of Arbitrary Deprivation of Nationality

Publication by a member of the Interest Group
by Tamás Molnár

Arbitrary deprivation of nationality is of serious concern to the international community. Such acts of the State effectively place the persons concerned in a ‘legal vacuum’ regarding the enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular in areas of education, housing, employment, health and social security since these persons are put in a situation of high vulnerability to human rights violations. In case of denationalization, the persons affected become non-citizens with respect to the State that deprived them of their nationality (either still possessing another nationality, and consequently becoming aliens in their motherland, or in the worst case the individual is rendered stateless). Persons arbitrarily deprived of nationality may thus be exposed to poverty, social exclusion, and limited legal capacity.

One chapter in the new Hungarian Yearbook of International and European Law – 2014 (Eleven Publishing, The Hague 2015, pp. 67-92), written by Tamás, highlights the role of international law in regulating nationality and the international legal framework prohibiting the deprivation of nationality. It also delineates different situations amounting to arbitrariness when deciding on the withdrawal of a nationality, including the discussion of possible ex post effective remedies. As a relatively new phenomenon, even European Union (EU) law has not been left untouched by this issue. Despite the lack of explicit EU competences in this regard, the obligation not to arbitrarily deprive someone’s nationality has been completed with EU law requirements, principally stemming from the fundamental character of EU citizenship. Remarkably, convergences between UN (soft) law and EU (case) law can be observed in the light of the recent developments.

The chapter can be found here

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