Intelligence Committee tables report on citizenship loss

Issue date: Thursday, 21 March 2024

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The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) today tabled its Advisory report on the amendments made by the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Citizenship Repudiation) Bill 2023. This report also incorporates reporting on a review of Subdivision C of Division 3 of Part 2 of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (citizenship cessation determinations) as required by the Intelligence Services Act 2001, as well as certain amendments circulated in the Senate.

The Act amended the Citizenship Act to repeal the invalid provisions and establish a revised citizenship cessation regime. Under the new regime, the Minister can make an application to request that a court exercise its power to make an order to cease a dual citizen’s Australian citizenship, where the person has been convicted of a serious offence or offences.

The Act passed into law on 8 December 2023 and at the time of this report, the provisions for a court to impose citizenship cessation as part of a sentence for certain offences had not yet been used.

The Committee’s unanimous report supported the Act on the basis that, with the power to cease citizenship sitting with a court, such measures will only be taken in exceptional circumstances and found that that the Act has addressed the primary grounds under which previous provisions regarding citizenship cessation have been found to be unconstitutional.

Although the Committee considers the safeguards in the Act for children as generally robust, it recommended that future consideration of amendments should consider if the scheme should continue to operate in relation to persons above 14 and below 18 only in exceptional circumstances, and of any practice issues that may arise about a person’s ability to exercise the rights connected to their citizenship of another country.

In addition, the Committee has requested that it be provided with written or oral briefings on the use of the citizenship cessation powers if it considers it necessary.

Mr Peter Khalil MP, Chair of the PJCIS, said “These amendments to the Citizenship Act create a comprehensive regime where dual citizens who commit serious offences can expect to lose their citizenship. The Act restores an important power and underlines the Government’s focus on keeping Australians safe via comprehensive and constitutional national security laws.”

Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the Committee’s website.

Media inquiries

Chair Mr Peter Khalil MP, via Lachlan Hinds
0455 999 677

For background information

Committee Secretariat, Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security
(02) 6277 2360

For more information about this Committee, you can visit its website. On the site, you can make a submission to an inquiry, read other submissions, and get details for upcoming public hearings. You can also track the Committee and receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track this Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the page.

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