The ships of state and the shipwrecked : the (il)legality for states to create statelessness under international law

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Keeman, Martijn Jurgen
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This thesis carried out a study into the (il)legality of creating statelessness under international (human rights) law. The UNHCR most recently launched a global campaign to eradicate statelessness, given the widespread recognition of the harmful impact it has on the full realisation and enjoyment of human rights. However, while subscribing to this view, many states are simultaneously undermining the campaign by seeking the removal of nationality in response to terrorism. This risks creating statelessness at best, and in some cases directly creates it at worst. The study shows that the sovereign title states still hold over nationality matters, despite the rise of human rights, means that they in principle can indeed strip people’s nationality even if this creates statelessness. However, human rights have been successful in securing a more circumspect control via modifying principles for state action as non-discrimination and proportionality. Depriving nationality for convicts or suspects of terrorism sacrifices a significant deal of human rights at the altar of (perceived) security, which probably could be dealt with via ordinary criminal proceedings. It will therefore not likely meet the standards of proportionality. Keywords: statelessness, deprivation of nationality, international human rights law
Second semester University: University of Helsinki.
human rights, international law, national law, right to a nationality, statelessness