University of Bristol

Posts by authors affiliated with University of Bristol

16 March 2023

The Begum Case: Why Ministerial Discretion Precludes Human Rights Issues

In recent years, cancellation of British citizenship has become a high-profile issue. This is not least because of the case of Shamima Begum, who left the UK as a 15-year-old British schoolgirl for Syria in 2015. Upon being found in a camp in Syria four years ago, the Home Secretary removed her British citizenship soon thereafter, leaving her de facto stateless. After protracted litigation surrounding a number of preliminary issues, three weeks ago, Begum lost her appeal against the decision in front of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission’s (SIAC). The Commission’s refusal to allow her appeal is remarkable for the nearly unlimited degree of discretion it appears to grant the Home Secretary in cancellation cases, even where human rights are at stake.

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16 February 2022

A Profit that Creates Loss

The recent UK Supreme Court judgment of 2 February 2022 continues to exclude children from citizenship rights. The Court's decision is built on the idea that British citizenship is a statutory right rather than being based on common law or human rights law. As a consequence, the court's focus was on statutory interpretation instead of child welfare. The profit made from the children’s registration fees is at the expense of children who remain excluded from citizenship.

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