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Citizenship under National and Customary International Law. Conditions of Acquire and Losing Citizenship in the Republic of Sierra Leone

Essay 2017 6 Seiten

Politik - Internationale Politik - Thema: Völkerrecht und Menschenrechte

Leseprobe

Table of Contents

Introduction

Citizenship Acquisition in Sierra Leone

Citizenship by birth

· A-Citizenship by birth in Sierra Leone

· B-Citizenship by birth outside Sierra Leone

· C– Citizenship by Descent

Citizenship by Naturalization

· A-Citizenship by Naturalization of Married Women

· B-Citizenship by Naturalization of other Persons

Loss of Sierra Leone Citizenship

· A- Person of dual citizenship

· B- Through renunciation

· C- Deprivation of citizenship of persons acquiring foreign citizenship, disloyal and convicted persons

Conclusion

Reference

The international customary law through various treaties encourages all states to ensure that nobody remain stateless. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts that ‘everyone has a right to nationality and that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality’.

Introduction

Citizenship or nationality is generally understood as the legal bond that connects a person to a particular State. In other words, it constitutes a person’s membership in the particular State. Citizenship creates reciprocal obligations between the individual and the state. It is the basis of the state’s exercise of jurisdiction over the person, and also accord diplomatic protection to its nationals and to make claims on their behalf (Sarmiento, 2015). The international customary law through various treaties encourages all states to ensure that nobody remain stateless. For example, Article 15(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that ‘ everyone has a right to nationality and that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality ’. However, International Customary Law, recognizes the right of each State to determine who its citizens are, and to establish its own standards for conferring nationality though only for domestic law purposes. In this essay, Republic of Sierra Leone will be used as classical example as far as citizenship acquisition is concern.

According to Sarmiento (2015), it is for each State to determine under its own law who are its nationals. This law shall be recognized by other States in so far as it is consistent with international conventions, international custom, and the principles of law generally recognized with regard to nationality. The 1930 Hague Convention on certain questions relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws stated that, in determining a person’s nationality;

- It is for each State to determine under its own law who are its nationals. This law shall be recognized by other States in so far as it is consistent with international conventions, international custom, and the principles of law generally recognized with regard to nationality.

- Article 1 of The Hague Convention states that ‘any question as to whether a person possesses the nationality of a particular State shall be determined in accordance with the law of that State’. And Article 2, further added that, ‘a state may confer its nationality exclusively upon persons born within its territory or jurisdiction by the application of the principle of jus soli (by place of birth) regardless of the nationality of their parents’.

According to Sarmiento (2015), the international customary law also permits a to grants a person citizenship through application. For instance, a state can grant citizenship to persons whose parents are nationals of the State by the application of the principle of jus sanguinis (by right of blood) regardless of whether they are born within or outside its territory. On the other hand, a state can also apply both principles of jus soli and jus sanguinis. Moreover, a state may also confer citizenship upon persons through naturalization, which does not require the naturalized citizen to be born within the territory of the state or to be born of parents who are nationals of the State. A State may also consider marriage and adoption as methods of acquiring a nationality (Sarmiento (2015).

Citizenship Acquisition in Sierra Leone

Citizenship by birth

[1] Under Article 2(2) of the Sierra Leone Citizenship Act, 1973, ‘ every person who, having been born in Sierra Leone before the nineteenth day of April, 1971, or who was resident in Sierra Leone on the eighteenth day of April, 1971, and not the subject of any other State shall, on the nineteenth day of April, 1971, be deemed to be a citizen of Sierra Leone by birth. The statement is on condition that; (a) his father or his grandfather was born in Sierra Leone and (b) he is a person of negro African descent.

-A-Citizenship by birth in Sierra Leone

In Article 2(3) of the Citizenship Act, ‘ every person born in Sierra Leone on or after the nineteenth day of April, 1971, shall be deemed to be a citizen of Sierra Leone by birth ’.

-B-Citizenship by birth outside Sierra Leone

Concerning people who were born outside Sierra Leone, Article 2 section 4 indicated that, ‘every person born or resident outside Sierra Leone on or before the eighteenth day of April, 1971, and who, but for such birth or residence outside Sierra Leone would be a citizen of Sierra Leone by virtue of section 2, shall, on the nineteenth day of April 1971, be deemed to be a citizen of Sierra Leone by birth’.

- C-Citizenship by Descent

Apart from people becoming citizens by birth in Sierra Leone, the country concurrently apply the principles of jus soli and jus sanguinis. In this case, a person can claim Sierra Leonean citizenship through his or her parental lineage. In Section 5 of Article 2, ‘every person born outside Sierra Leone on or after the nineteenth day of April 1971, of a father who was or would but for his death have been a citizen of Sierra Leone by virtue of sections 2, 3 and 4, is a citizen of Sierra Leone by birth.

Citizenship by Naturalization

[2] In line with the International Customary Law of other means of acquiring citizenship, Sierra Leone may confer citizenship upon persons through naturalization

-A-Citizenship by Naturalization of Married Women

Section 7 of Article 2 on marital citizenship acquisition stated that, ‘every woman who is not a Sierra Leonean and who is or has been married to a Sierra Leone citizen, may, on application being made by her in the manner prescribed, be granted a certificate of naturalization’.

-B-Citizenship by Naturalization of other Persons

In relation to Section 7, Section 8(1) of the1973 Sierra Leonean Citizenship Act, ‘ every person of negro African descent born in Sierra Leone after the eighteenth day of April, 1971, may on application being made by him in the manner prescribed, be granted a certificate of naturalization ’. The Act further explained that, a person shall not be granted a certificate by virtue of this section if at the time of his birth ‘ neither of his parents was a citizen of Sierra Leone and his father possessed such immunity from suit and legal process as is accorded to an envoy of a foreign sovereign power accredited to Sierra Leone ’.

In subsequent sub-sections of Section 8 of the Citizenship Act Sierra Leone, a person shall be granted certificate of naturalization under the following conditions and ways. In Section 8(2), ‘ every person of full age and capacity, either of whose parents is a person of negro African descent who is resident in Sierra Leone and has been continuously so resident for a period of not less than eight years may, on application in the prescribed manner being made by him that he is qualified for naturalization ’. Sub-section 3 of Section 8, ‘ every person of full age and capacity, neither of whose parents is a person of negro African descent, who is resident in Sierra Leone and has been continuously so resident for a period of not less than fifteen years may, on application being made by him in the manner prescribed, be granted a certificate of naturalization if he satisfies the Minister that he is qualified for naturalization ’.

Nonetheless, according to the Citizenship Act in Section 9, no person applying for citizenship under sections 7 and 8 shall be granted a certificate of naturalization unless: he is of full age and capacity or he has renounced, in a manner satisfactory to the Minister, and other citizenship which he possesses.

Loss of Sierra Leone Citizenship

-Person of dual citizenship

[3] In relation to a person a person losing his or her nationality, Section 11 of Sierra Leone Citizenship Act explained that, ‘any person who, upon attaining the age of twenty-one years, is a citizen of Sierra Leone and also a citizen of another country shall cease to be a citizen of Sierra Leone upon his attaining the age of twenty-two years’.

-Through renunciation

In Section 15(1), ‘ where any citizen of Sierra Leone who is of full age and capacity makes a declaration renouncing his citizenship of Sierra Leone, the Minister shall, if he is satisfied that the person is (a) a citizen of a Commonwealth country, or of the Republic of Ireland; or (b)a national of a foreign country, cause the declaration to be registered, and thereupon that person shall cease to be a citizen of Sierra Leone ’.

-Deprivation of citizenship of persons acquiring foreign citizenship, disloyal and convicted persons

The Minister may, by Order according to the Citizenship Act Section 16, deprive any person, who is a citizen by naturalization, of his citizenship if he is satisfied that such person has acquired the nationality or citizenship of a foreign country by any voluntary or formal act other than marriage. In addition, Section 17 indicated that, a person may also be deprived of his or her citizenship by naturalization if he or she has; (a) shown himself by act or speech to be disloyal to the Republic or its Government or (b) within seven years of his becoming a citizen of Sierra Leone, been sentenced in any country to imprisonment for a term of not less than twelve months for an offence involving fraud or dishonesty.

Conclusion

Conclusively, while the right to nationality is declared as a fundamental human right by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a state has the exclusive prerogative to determine who its citizens are, which may be limited only by international laws. Unlike Ghana, Sierra Leone does not explicitly have law on ‘foundlings’. Even though the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness has implemented provisions to secure the right of foundlings to a nationality, and impose an obligation on States to ensure its observance by giving their nationality on foundlings found on their territory.

Reference

League of Nations (13 April 1930). Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Law. League of Nations, Treaty Series, 179(4137), 89

Sarmiento, R. A. (2015). The Right to Nationality of Foundlings in International Law. Accessed from https://www.google.com.gh/amp/s/attyralph.com/2015/12/03/foundlingsnationality/amp/, 21/09/17.

Sierra Leone Citizenship Act, 1973 24 (May 1973). Accessed from http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b50610.html, retrieved on 19/09/17.

UN General Assembly, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 December 1948, 217 A (III).

United Nations Treaty Collection, 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Accessed, https://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATYmtdsg_no=V-4chapter=5lang=en, 19/09/17.

[1] Sierra Leone Citizenship Act, 1973 (24 May 1973). Accessed from http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b50610.html, retrieved on 19/09/17.

[2] Ibid: Sierra Leone Citizenship Act, 1973

[3] Ibid: Section 11 of the Sierra Leone Citizenship Act, 1973

Details

Seiten
6
Jahr
2017
Dateigröße
513 KB
Sprache
Englisch
Katalognummer
v419405
Note
Schlagworte
citizenship national customary international conditions acquire losing republic sierra leone

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Titel: Citizenship under National and Customary International Law. Conditions of Acquire and Losing Citizenship in the Republic of Sierra Leone