Citizenship Revocation, the Privilege to Have Rights and the Production of the Alien (Audrey Macklin, 40:1 Queen’s LJ, 2014)

Since 9/11, Western governments have redefined what it means to be a citizen. Though citizenship is often thought of as an inalienable right, the emergence of the “homegrown ” terrorist has called into question whether certain citizens deserve the protection that citizenship status provides. Although international treaties preclude a country from rendering a person stateless, recent legislative and executive action in the United Kingdom and Canada has raised the issue of whether these new regimes of citizenship deprivation respect international and domestic law.

Throughout the article, the author displays how the contemporary exercise of citizenship revocation has revived the arcane practices of exile and banishment. To examine the growing trend of citizenship revocation, the author situates it against related historical practices as well as within the emerging field of crimmigration. She then examines how citizenship revocation is, was, or will be employed in the UK, the United States and Canada. Of particular relevance to the author is Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, which received Royal Assent in June 2014. She argues that the executive’s expanded power to revoke a person’s citizenship under this Act is inherently punitive and will create an unconstitutional regime that violates multiple sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.