London – Plans by the Liberal Democrats to overhaul citizenship deprivation powers are a positive step, but they must also address the broader legal framework in which abuse of due process takes place.
Citizenship Deprivations rely upon the use of secret evidence in secret legal proceedings, with an individual’s only hope for defence resting with a state-vetted special advocate who is not at liberty to disclose any details of the case to the defendant.
This diminishes any semblance of due process. It is within these secret courts, known as the SIAC (Special Immigrations Appeals Commission), where judges essentially perform a rubber-stamping exercise for an array of sanctions, including passport removal.
Cerie Bullivant, spokesperson for CAGE said:
“Citizenship revocation powers are akin to a policy of medieval exile and ought to be abolished. The changes proposed by the liberal democrats, while positive, still leave room for further abuse by executive bodies who often seek to use such powers to target minority communities for the sake of advancing their political careers”
“The non existent legal redress mechanism at the root of citizenship deprivation, not only enshrines impunity for such devastating decisions, but has allowed for an array of sanctions to be exercised by a number of Home Secretaries, which have included exiling people or removing their passports, essentially locking them out of the outside world.”
“This secrecy and violation of the rule of law is perhaps one of the sharpest manifestations of Britain’s two-tier justice system, which targets minorities. It is particularly traumatic when a citizen deprivation case has the potential to exile a person to a region where they could face social isolation and at worst, further violations and even more severe abuse.”
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)