In this era of rising authoritarianism, growth of the security state, increasing populism, xenophobia and racism, citizenship is under threat in ways not seen for generations. As more states instrumentalise nationality and treat it as a privilege that can be taken away, members of minority communities, human rights defenders, dissidents and suspected terrorists are all more likely to be stripped of their nationality – facing acute human rights depravations as a result. The growing (mis)use of citizenship stripping powers to target some, undermines the sanctity of citizenship for all. This talk by Amal de Chickera will critique citizenship stripping practices from an international law perspective. In doing so, it will draw heavily from the Principles on Deprivation of Nationality as a National Security Measure, developed through an extensive consultation process with leading global experts. The talk will explore how even though nationality deprivation is not explicitly prohibited under international law, the collective application of a number of complementary standards makes it virtually impossible to engage in the practice in good faith. The talk will situate this legal analysis within a wider socio-political context.
Amal de Chickera is a co-director and co-founder of the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion, the only human rights organisation dedicated to working on the right to nationality and statelessness, globally. He also teaches a masters level course on statelessness and the right to nationality at Middlesex University London. Amal has researched, advocated, written, spoken, delivered training and served as an expert on statelessness and related issues for the UN, NGOs and academia, since 2008. He is particularly interested in the nexus between statelessness and discrimination and its implications on access to other rights; and on the instrumentalization of nationality, including through citizenship deprivation measures. Before co-founding the Institute, Amal provided the lead on the Equal Rights Trust's statelessness work. He was also one of the co-founders of the European Network on Statelessness, and is a founding member of Stages - a Sri Lankan theatre group. A human rights lawyer and member of the Sri Lankan Bar, Amal holds an LLM from University College London and an LLB from the University of Colombo.
Christopher Bertram will be the respondent. He is Emeritus Professor of Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Bristol and the author most recently of Do States Have the Right to Exclude Immigrants? (Polity Press 2018). His work have covered the philosophy of migration, social contract theory, the political philosophy of Rousseau and analytical Marxism. He is currently working on rights of resistance and civil disobedience to immigration laws.