An official looks through ballot papers as members of the Australian Turkish community prepare to vote in Turkey's first direct presidential elections at a polling station in Sydney July 31, 2014. For the first time, Turkish citizens living abroad can vote in elections from the countries they reside, with voters living in Turkey going to the polls on August 10. Reuters/David Gray

Dual citizens suspected of terrorism can lose their Australian citizenship, a parliamentary committee said on Friday. The new citizenship laws are underway, but it will be passed with some fine changes, the committee said.

The 27 recommendations made by the joint intelligence and security committee include limiting the right of those “engaged in relevant conduct offshore or engaged in relevant conduct onshore and left Australia before being charged and brought to trial in respect of that conduct.”

A large section of the committee recognised that, if challenged, the bill has high chances of winning the support of the majority of High Court. The report calls for bestowing the discretion to revoke citizenship by the immigration minister if a person is found to have been sentenced to six years in prison or have served multiple sentences amounting to six years.

But at the same time, the immigration minister must be satisfied that the person in question has renounced allegiance to Australia and is no longer suitable to be considered a citizen or poses a threat to the fellow citizens. It is also required for the minister to assess whether or not the said person would be allowed to access citizenship rights in the other country.

The laws would apply retrospectively to those who have been sentenced to 10 years or more in imprisonment by court. However, it would not be applicable to convictions that had been handed down 10 years prior to implementation date of the law.

The new bill also stated that a person whose citizenship has been revoked by the minister should also have the right to know why it has been done. The reasons should be mentioned specifically in the notification that would be sent out.

Under the bill children whose parents have been stripped off their dual citizenship would also cease to be citizens themselves. “A child of the person [who renounced their nationality] may also cease to be an Australian citizen,” the bill says.

As the Guardian reported, discussion papers considering the option of revoking citizenship of sole nationals have also been released by the government.

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