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Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


The Right to Vote for Non-Resident Citizens in Europe

By Richard Lappin, International & Comparative Law Quarterly, October 2016

The right to vote is the most important political right in international human rights law. Framed within the broader right of political participation, it is the only right in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights not guaranteed as a universal human right but rather as a citizen's right. While limitations on the right to vote are permissible in respect of citizenship and age, residency-based restrictions are not explicitly provided. However, recent judgments of the European Court of Human Rights endorse a view that voting rights may be conditioned on residency on the grounds of an individual's bond to their country-of-origin and the extent to which laws passed by that government would affect them. This article questions this proposition and explores whether disenfranchisement based solely on residency constitutes an unreasonable and discriminatory restriction to the essence of the right.

Read at the journal’s website.



Migration and Spanish Citizenship Abroad: Recent Scenarios from the Cuban Context

By Carmen Ascanio Sánchez and Sara García Cuesta,  Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, May 2017

The aim of this paper is to explore recent scenarios observed in migration and Spanish citizenship abroad, using Cuba as a case study. This project’s innovative contribution lies in its multimethod approach, which considers both normative and demographic factors while also including a qualitative and participatory dimension. Spanish migration to Cuba is a particularly interesting case, given the differences observed here as compared to other Latin American contexts, in terms of both the social policies involved and the Spanish migrants’ profiles and respective family strategies. We analyze migrant groups from the three regions of Spain that saw the greatest emigration to this Caribbean island: Asturias, the Canary Islands and Galicia. The results show the effects of Spanish social and migratory policies on migrants to Cuba and their families from the 1990s onward, in particular with respect to the law governing citizenship known as the “Grandchildren’s Act” (“Ley de Nietos,” 2007-2011). We discuss the different strategies and practices, both individual and collective, that arose from the new resources created by these policies. To conclude, we sketch out the repercussions of these new practices on intergenerational relationships, access to citizenship rights, and the reshaping of collective identities.

Read at the journal’s website.


EU Citizenship and Federalism. The Role of Rights

By Dimitry Kochenov, Cambridge University Press, 2017

Kochenov's definitive collection examines the under-utilised potential of EU citizenship, proposing and defending its position as a systemic element of EU law endowed with foundational importance. Leading experts in EU constitutional law scrutinise the internal dynamics in the triad of EU citizenship, citizenship rights and the resulting vertical delimitation of powers in Europe, analysing the far-reaching constitutional implications. Linking the constitutional question of federalism and citizenship, the volume establishes an innovative new framework where these rights become agents and rationales of European integration and legal change, located beyond the context of the internal market and free movement. It maps the role of citizenship in this shifting landscape, outlining key options for a Europe of the future.

Details at the publisher’s website.



The grey area between nationality and citizenship: an analysis of external citizenship policies in Latin America and the Caribbean

By Luicy Pedroza & Pau Palop-García, Citizenship Studies, April 2017

Literature on diaspora engagement policies, transnational and extra-territorial citizenship has painted the increasing recognition of dual nationality and the extension of state policies to the diaspora as a signal of states leaving behind the paradigms of exclusive nationality and residence as conditions to exercise citizenship. In doing this, this literature tends to treat citizenship and nationality as synonyms. By analysing the citizenship policies of 22 Latin American and Caribbean states towards their nationals who reside abroad and/or acquire another nationality, we add key nuances to such consideration: nationality and citizenship may relate to different legal statuses – with important consequences for migrants – and there might be differences also between the citizen rights of nationals by origin and of nationals by naturalization. In particular, we show that citizenship and nationality interact in different ways when it comes to the preservation of rights for emigrants: the distinctions allow restricting the portability of citizenship rights for nationals by birth, and other groups of nationals, depending on the exclusivity, and origin, of their national belonging. These distinctions tell a potentially different story of how citizenship is conceived of by states as they approach the challenges of membership and participation posed by emigration, and paint a less rosy picture with regard to the demise of exclusive nationality.

Read on the journal’s website.


Inclusive Democracy: Franchise Limitations on Non-Resident Citizens as an Unjust Restriction of Rights under the European Convention on Human Rights

By Julie Fraser, Utrecht Journal of International and European Law, April 2017

The Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG) advises parties in peace negotiations, on drafting post-conflict constitutions, and assists in prosecuting war criminals. As part of this work, PILPG assists States in establishing and implementing electoral systems that meet international standards for democratic elections, and undertakes election monitoring. Free and fair elections are crucial for the legitimacy of democratic States and are protected by human rights law. The present article focuses on the issue of the franchise and on the restrictions permitted under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Specifically, this article addresses franchise restrictions on non-resident citizens across ECHR member States. Setting out the protections for the franchise in Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 ECHR, this article analyses the permissible limitations on those rights according to the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The article presents a comparative analysis of other voting rights cases, such as the limitations on prisoners’ franchise. After considering whether residency-based limitations pursue legitimate and proportionate aims, it questions whether blanket restrictions disenfranchising non-resident citizens should be permissible today. The article concludes by advocating the importance of an inclusive franchise for the legitimacy of democratic systems as well as the protection of individual rights, and inviting the ECtHR to revisit its jurisprudence on this topic. 

Full text at the Journal's website.