Jeremy Ogilvie-Harris: A Comparative Perspective on the Constitutionality of Clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill

UK Constitutional Law Association

Introduction

The Nationality and Borders Bill (NABB) proposes controversial amendments to the UK’s citizenship deprivation power under s. 40 British Nationality Act 1981 (BNA). The Home Secretary seeks a power to dispense with the requirement to give notice of deprivation decisions to those affected, in an act of “striking back” (Harlow and Rawlings at Chamberlain J’s decision in D4 v SSHD. This post aims to analyse Clause 9 NABB from a comparative perspective, drawing on the provisions for depriving citizenship without notice in Australia’s Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (ACA) and New Zealand’s Citizenship Act 1977 (CA). It argues that, although Australia and New Zealand have similar powers to withhold/dispense with notice, the proposed UK power would be broader and more draconian, yet subject to fewer constitutional control mechanisms.

Sheppelle, considering a “forensic legal analytical framework” to assess constitutional changes, argues that “[t]he only way we can tell…

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