Explainer: Inquiry review of citizenship bill

Parliament’s joint Intelligence and Security committee review of citizenship bill recommendations:


Parliament approve the Allegiance to Australia Bill, subject to amendments.


Limit laws to strip dual nationals of their Australian citizenship to individuals who have engaged in relevant conduct offshore; or engaged in relevant conduct onshore and left Australia before being charged and brought to trial in respect of that conduct.Explicitly require the minister to be satisfied before declaring a terrorist organisation.Allow parliament to disallow any declaration.Allow the committee to conduct a review of each declaration and report to the parliament within 15 sitting days.Clarify the intended scope of the term “in the service of” a declared terrorist organisation, and exclude the provision of neutral and independent humanitarian assistance, and acts done unintentionally or under duress.Exempt staff members or agents of Australian law enforcement or intelligence agencies are exempted when carrying out actions as part of the proper and legitimate performance of their duties.Minister be given discretion to revoke a person’s citizenship following conviction for a relevant offence with a sentence applied of at least six years imprisonment, or multiple sentences totalling at least six years imprisonment. The minister should be satisfied the person’s conviction demonstrates that they have repudiated

their allegiance to Australia, and it is not in the public interest for the person to remain an Australian citizen.Exclude offences that carry a maximum penalty of less than 10 years imprisonment and certain Crimes Act offences that have never been used – such as the 1914 offence of inciting mutiny against the Queens Forces.Be applied retrospectively to convictions for relevant offences where sentences of 10 years or more have been handed down by a court.Any notice to an affected person must include the the reasons for the loss of citizenship, and an explanation of the person’s review rights.Clarify that citizenship is taken never to have been lost if a finding of fact is subsequently found to have been incorrect.Minister have the power to annul revocation if the relevant conviction is later overturned on appeal or quashed.That no part of the bill applies to conduct by a child aged less than 10 years; limited exemption for child aged under 14 years.The government to publicly report, every six months, the number of times a notice for loss or revocation of citizenship and provide a brief statement of reasons.Extend functions of the committee to include monitoring and reviewing the performance by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection of its functions under the bill.A review of the new laws by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor by December 2018.A review by the committee by December 2019.

(Source: Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security)