Suspected terrorist allowed to regain British nationality

On 29th March 2012, in Hilal Abdul-Razzaq Ali Al-Jedda v Secretary of State for the Home Department, the UK Court of Appeal allowed the appeal of a suspected terrorist and Iraqi refugee, against the Home Secretary’s decision to revoke his British nationality. He was granted British nationality in 2000 and, according to Iraqi law at the time, he in effect lost his Iraqi citizenship. In 2004 in Iraq, British forces detained him on the suspicion that he was involved with terrorist activities. He was released without charge in 2007, but the Secretary of State for the Home Department ordered that he be deprived of his British nationality according to the British Nationality Act 1981. The appellant appealed to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), which concluded that according to the Law of Administration for the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period, the appellant’s Iraqi nationality was automatically restored to him. The Court determined that SIAC misinterpreted Article 11(c) of this law, and that since the appellant never applied to have his Iraqi citizenship restored, the Secretary of State’s order had rendered him stateless. The British Nationality Act 1981 indicates that “the Secretary of State may not make an order under subsection (2) if he is satisfied that the order would make a person stateless.”



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