PUBLIC LAW 2 Exam Revision

British Citizenship 

[British Nationality Act 1948]

Before 1948 the common law & then early statutes embodied concept that all persons born in British territory were subjects. Early legislation also ruled on acquisition of British nationality & loss of it. 1948 Act was intended to harmonise British law with that of the newly independent colonies whereby persons would be both citizens of the ex-colony & of the Commonwealth with rights to enter UK.

Only British citizens have a right to reside/abode. to come & go & work in UK without immigration control and not liable to deportation.

British citizenship is acquired by; Birth, Adoption, Registration, Descent or Naturalisation

Birth – A legitimate child born in the UK one of which parents is already a British Citizen or is “settled” in UK or is in the armed forces at time of birth assumes British citizenship.

Adoption – A child under the age of 18 [Family Law Reform Act 1969] adopted by a British Citizen becomes a BC from date of adoption order.

Descent – A child born outside the UK becomes a citizen if one of his/her parents is a BC, provided that parent has not acquired citizenship through descent. The child will only acquire citizenship if the parent is an employer of the Crown or other designated services.

Registration – A child born in the UK who are not automatically entitled to citizenship through birth have a right to be registered as citizens at the age of 10, provided child has not been absent from UK for more than 90 days in each of the first 10 years. Applications for nationality by registration must satisfy the Sec of state that they are of “good character”

Naturalisation – [British National Act 1981] (Long term resident of good character) A 5 year residence period is a precondition for applying for Naturalisation. No application may be granted unless applicant made necessary oath and pledge loyalty to UK upholding democratic values and obeying its laws.

Aliens may not vote, hold public office, join civil service or armed forces [without special consent], Aliens are liable to expulsion or internment in time of emergency/War & confiscation of property

Discretionary decision by Home Secretary No appeal, no tribunal system Judicial review competent only in limited number of cases

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