75 Cambridge L.J. 1 (2016)

handle is hein.journals/camblj75 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Cambridge Law Journal, 75(1), March 2016, pp. 1-37


                               THE

CAMBRIDGE                        LAW              JOURNAL


VOLUME 75, PART 1                                       MARCH 2016



                    CASE AND COMMENT


                  STUMBLING TOWARDS THE CONSTITUTION


ONE way in which governments may exercise political control over their
subjects is by removing their status as citizens. Doing so - denying the in-
dividual the political and social rights that are constitutive of full member-
ship of their community - involves making a radical choice, and
accordingly such a decision must be properly regulated. One of the ways
in which UK law does so is by preventing the exercise of the broad statu-
tory power to rescind the citizenship of a UK national because it is con-
ducive to the public good, where doing so would render that person
stateless (British Nationality Act 1981, s. 40(2), (4)). Individuals may
only be stripped of their citizenship under this provision on the condition
that they remain full members of another political community.
  The first argument made by the applicant in the decision of the Supreme
Court in Pham v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSC
19; [2015] 1 W.L.R. 1591 was that this condition had not been met his case.
Pham was born in Vietnam in 1983, thereby automatically becoming a citi-
zen of that country. He was granted asylum in the UK in 1989 and citizen-
ship in 1995. In 2011-12, Pham spent time in Yemen where, according to
the Security Services, he received training from a terrorist group. On the
basis of an assessment that he would pose a threat to national security,
the Secretary of State made an order under s. 40(2) of the 1981 Act to de-
prive Pham of his citizenship and ordered his deportation to Vietnam.
However, subsequently to the making of the order and upon being made
aware of Pham's existence, the Vietnamese Govermment refused to accept
him as a citizen. This, he argued, meant that the Secretary of State's deci-
sion was in breach of s. 40(4) of the 1981 Act, the condition preventing
statelessness.

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