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Concerns About Draft Citizenship Bill

The government’s new Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill will allow dual citizens to lose their Australian citizenship when their actions are inconsistent with their Australian allegiance.

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has made recommendations to amend the draft Citizenship Bill. However, the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, has stated that even if the Bill is amended, it should still not be passed.

One of the Commission’s main concerns is that the amended Bill will still, in some circumstances, allow for citizenship to be lost automatically without properly considering an individual’s specific circumstances. The result could be inconsistent with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and arbitrary.

The Commission’s other main concern is that the amended Bill could still result in children losing their citizenship in certain circumstances, contravening the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Should the Government proceed with the Bill, the only proposed amendment that the Committee will not support is the recommendation to increase the Bill’s retrospective operation.

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