Chapter 3 End-of-chapter question guidance

Nationality, citizenship, and right of abode

1. Are the UK's nationality laws closer to a principle of jus soli or jus sanguinis? Whichever you think, what elements can you find in UK nationality law of the other principle?

A. Define jus soli and jus sanguinis.

B. Note that the UK used to have a law of pure jus soli. Explain when this was the case and the effect of this rule.

C. Say when this changed, and what, in detail, the changes were. In relation to the new categories of nationality that emerged after these changes, examine each one and identify what soli or sanguinis elements they contain.  

D. Draw your conclusion about which of these principles, if either, you think predominates, summarizing where each is found.

Following this guidance will require research and thought and will produce a substantial essay


2. How do registration and naturalization fit into the the way the UK embodies jus soli and jus sanguinis principles?

A. Explain briefly what registration and naturalization are and the conditions for each in outline. Note whether there are elements of connection with the land or blood connection in these conditions.

B. From this, identify whether registration and naturalization introduce other criteria into nationality in addition to land and blood connections. If so, what are these?


3. Is it possible to give content to the idea of 'belonging' to a country? How does British nationality law do it? How would you do it?

Explain that the idea of 'belonging' is a political one, related to defining nationals of a country. This question can introduce ideas of civic participation and national language as well as of jus soli and jus sanguinis. The life in the UK course and handbook could be perused and evaluated. Consult the documentation produced in the course of Lord Goldsmith's Citizenship Review.

Note that the report which contains his recommendations, published in March 2008, is Citizenship: Our Common Bond.

You could also consider the criteria for deprivation of nationality in the context of 'belonging'.

Look again at the criteria for obtaining British nationality, whether by birth or a procedure, and consider whether other conditions for qualifying are related in any way to the idea of ‘belonging’. Is this the only concept behind the law on acquiring nationality, or are there other principles also involved?

This essay has the potential to be very wide-ranging and could be as long as you have time and interest for. It would also be possible to limit it by choosing one aspect, for instance examining just Lord Goldsmith's report, or just deprivation of nationality, against the idea of 'belonging' – and considering whether that idea is useful or not.

Conclude with your own thoughts on the subject, informed by what you have read and written.


4. How would you structure a law of deprivation of nationality or citizenship? What safeguards would you put in place?

Consider for instance:

  • whether there are any kinds of nationality or citizenship which should never be forfeited
  • what criteria you would use to decide that someone should be deprived of nationality or citizenship
  • whether you would allow for mitigation of these conditions on any basis
  • what part human rights would play in this
  • what procedures would be appropriate
  • whether these would apply in all circumstances or whether there would be exceptions, and if so, on what basis (cross ref to chapter 7 SIAC might be helpful)


5. What legal responses to de jure and de facto statelessness exist in the UK? Are they appropriate?

  • Define de jure and de facto statelessness.
  • Identify the kinds of remedy available.
  • Explain what they achieve and their limitations
  • Decide how you are going to deal with the question of what is ‘appropriate’ e.g. an effective remedy for the individual? One that takes into account the interests of the state and of the individual? Etc. Then assess the remedies accordingly.
  • What procedural rights and safeguards you would institute