Liberia: Supreme Court Nullifies Laws Barring Dual Citizenship in Landmark Ruling
Source: Front Page Africa (Monrovia)
By Lennart Dodoo
MONROVIA – Mr. Alvin Teage Jalloh, a Liberian with American citizenship, has won a landmark dual citizenship case against the Government of Liberia at the Supreme Court in Liberia.
Jalloh, a natural-born Liberian was denied travel document by the Liberian Embassy in Washington when he sought to travel Liberia. The Embassy had informed him he needed a non-immigrant Liberian visa before he could be permitted to enter Liberia.
The Embassy’s claim was pursuant to the Alien and Nationality Law of Liberia.
Filing a complaint before the Supreme Court, Jalloh argued that Sections 22.2 of the Alien and Nationality Law which were enacted before the adoption of the 1986 Liberian Constitution, purports to automatically deprive Liberian citizens of their citizenship rights if they do certain things such as vote in the elections of a foreign country or join the military of another country. These, he contends, were repealed by Article 95(a) of the 1986 Constitution as being inconsistent with the due process clause of Article 20(a).
On the other hand, the government argued that Mr. Jalloh, having admitted to being a naturalized citizen of the US lacked the capacity to challenge the constitutionality of Sections 22.2 of the Aliens and Nationality Law; that Sections 22.2 do not violate the constitution’s due process clause and that Article 28 of the 1986 constitution authorizes the Legislature to enact laws by which citizen of Liberia shall lose his/her citizenship.”
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