Australia has taken a huge measure in battling terrorism by proposing a bill that will supposedly automatically divest individuals — holding dual citizenship — of their Australian citizenship. Its anti-terror bill is currently undergoing a final version, according to the news.
The bill, which rejected a proposal allowing ministerial discretion in removing citizenship, adopted a stronger measure in stripping the Australian citizen by an “automatic revocation for any dual-national” connected to an international terror organization.
In its report, the Daily Telegraph said section 35C of the Citizenship Act has been “tweaked” in order to accommodate the automatic revocation of Australian citizenship. The current section states that an automatic revocation will affect dual-national Australians who enlisted in armed services of a state at war with Australia. With the adjustment of the section, the automatic cancellation will include terrorist groups.
But even with the automatic revocation clause, the process differs a bit between dual-national Australians living abroad and those who live domestically. In the former, should the individual divested of his Australian citizenship like to appeal the decision, he may petition the court and prove that he is not affiliated with any terror group or he is not a terrorist himself.
But for those who live in Australia, section 34 of the said Act applies. In which case, those who are suspected of being involved in terrorist organizations should first have a conviction to that effect before their Australian citizenship shall be divested.
Despite Australia’s effort, one of its doctors, Tareq Kamleh, and who is one of ISIL successful recruits, said “he has no qualms” about losing his Australian citizenship as “he has no plans of returning” to Australia.
Lately, leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, have been reported recruiting youths from around the world to become members. The prevalence of recruitment sparked concerns not only among family members, but also among state leaders.
United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron told media and citizens lately not to blame the government if they have had relatives recruited by the ISIL leaders. Instead, the blame should be given to Islamist extremist ideology the terrorists are capitalizing.