My legal opinion on Rwandan government withdraw/cancellation of some citizens’ passports

Published: 23/Mai/2012
Source: Umudendezo News (blog)

by Prof. Charles Kambanda

1. Whether or no the State retains absolute ownership of an individual’s passport

There are some things the generality of which the State owns. These include citizenship, passport and wealth. However, when the State grants any of these to an individual in accordance with the law, absent any real defense the State might have, the individual acquires ownership of that thing in its individuality/particularity.

What the State owns is THE citizenship, The Passport, THE wealth. An individual then acquires A passport, citizenship and/or wealth. Although we can touch and see a passport, ones citizenship or wealth, we cannot tough or see THE passport, THE citizenship, THE wealth… A country has only one passport. However, there are many passports in a country. Therefore, THE passport is metaphysical while “A passport” is real. The passport and “A passport” exist at different levels.

While the State owns “THE Passport”, an individual owns “A passport”. While the State’s ownership of THE passport is eternal, an individual’s ownership of “A passport” is temporal.

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Themes: Cartes d’identité et passeports, Perte et déchéance de la nationalité
Regions: Rwanda
Year: 2012