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Australia plans new citizenship laws

26 June 2015 by News Desk

passport1Australia is planning new laws to strip citizenship from dual nationals engaged in terrorism.

The government says it wants to ensure that militants with dual nationality who are fighting overseas cannot return to Australia. The new laws will also strip citizenship from any dual nationals engaged in terrorism inside Australia.

Changes to the Australian Citizenship Act, introduced to parliament this week, could be applied to up to half of the 120 Australians fighting in the Middle East with Islamic State, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.

“The legislation will update the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 to ensure dual nationals who serve or fight for terrorist groups, or engage in terrorism-related conduct inspired by terrorists groups, automatically lose their Australian citizenship. The Act will also be amended to ensure dual nationals convicted of specified terrorism-related offences automatically lose their Australian citizenship”.

Mr Abbott said the new laws would not leave anyone stateless and did not exclude the role of the courts. “This will enable a person who has lost his or her citizenship to seek legal redress. If you are convicted of a terrorist offence, again, there will be an assumption that your Australian citizenship is forfeited, should you be a dual national.”

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