New Provisions Of Terror Citizenship Laws Declared: Possibilty Of Accomodating Restrospective Legislation

By @Shayani92 on
IN PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (L) gestures during a joint news conference with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (not pictured) on Abbott's first official two-day visit, in Auckland February 28, 2015. REUTERS/David Rowland/Pool

Today in the morning, Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton introduced the legislation on the issue of revoking citizenship of dual national terrorists in the Parliament. The legislation reported to have mentioned that citizenship would be stripped from dual nationals if found to be working with terrorist organisations overseas or convicted of a specific terrorist activity.

According to ABC news, the measures would be “self-executing” instead of being ministers' discretion. Mr Dutton confirmed  the availability of “an avenue for judicial appeal in the legislation.” He said the bill proposed three criteria for "automatic loss of citizenship.” It included two new provisions for revoking citizenship that has been already mentioned above and the third extended to the “person fighting in the armed forces of another country against Australia.”

Constitutional lawyer Professor Greg Craven confirmed the news of self-cancel citizenship. He said it would make the government more transparent as executive officers would not exercise judicial power. However, if people charged with terrorist offences deny the charges, they would be tried at the court.

Professor Craven further declared that the appeal process is designed in a way to comply with the constitutional procedures but might not sit well particularly with the notion of the automatic application of provisions. Mr Dutton has said the legislation bestowed power in senior public servants, advised by Government lawyers to decide whether a dual national accused of terrorist activities has met the proposed criteria for revoking citizenship.

ABC reported that Greg Barns from the Australian Lawyers Alliance considered the legislation to be problematic at various levels. The Australian Labor Party supported the updated move today but would wait to see how it works in actuality. However, it would focus more on the implementation of retrospective legislation if at all the government agrees to include it.

The prospect of retrospective legislation indicates deporting dual national terrorists after they are released from their current serving sentences if any. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed the possibility of such an initiative. The bill would be considered by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee headed by Liberal MP Dan Tehan. Meanwhile, Senator Cory Bernardi who previously criticised the bill proposed to support it now. 

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