A comparative analysis of nationality laws in the MENA region

Published: 7/Sep/2014
Source: Tilburg Law School

“This report was written by Dr.Laura van Waas of the Statelessness Programme, Tilburg Law School. The analysis of the nationality laws was undertaken jointly with Ms. Zahra Albarazi, also of the Statelessness Programme in Tilburg and input on specific laws and practices was also provided by several experts based in the region. […]

This report is dedicated to exploring and comparing the details of the region’s nationality laws. It looks at how the broad concepts of connectedness, belonging and loyalty have been transposed into individual provisions, in particular in regulating acquisition of nationality (at birth and later, through naturalisation) and in stipulating the conditions for the change or withdrawal of nationality. This comparative analysis offers the reader an insight into the main trends in nationality policy in the MENA, while identifying examples of strengths or good practices, as well as gaps or potential problems in these laws–paying special attention to where nationality provisions offer protection against or expose people to the risk of statelessness. After dealing with these main components, the report also comments on the specific issue of discrimination in nationality policy in the region as well as on procedural features of MENA’s nationality laws. Furthermore, it is important to note that the letter of the law is only half the story. In order to ascertain whether a country is successfully pre-empting or addressing statelessness, it is also necessary to consider how the law is interpreted and applied in practice by the competent authorities of the state. While such practice is much harder to grasp and may in fact vary case by case, the analysis of this report closes with a section that comments on some of the most significant challenges that have been identified in terms of the implementation of the MENA region’s nationality laws. Finally, a conclusion summarises the main findings of the report and offers some recommendations with regard to how the nationality law regimes in the MENA could be strengthened in order to better respond to the challenge of statelessness.”

Download file: A comparative analysis of nationality laws in the MENA region

Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Loss and Deprivation of Nationality
Regions: North Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia
Year: 2014