The Australian government will restore powers to deprive citizenship of terror suspects

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The Albanian government will restore the powers to strip dual nationals suspected of committing terrorist offenses of their Australian citizenship after Peter Dutton’s laws were overturned by the High Court.

Interior minister Clare O’Neil revealed that the government will read to allow courts to deprive terrorist suspects of citizenship after the high court ruled it was unconstitutional to give the minister the power to do so.

It is likely that the bill, which will be presented this year, will cross parliament as the Coalition has already given support in principle to closing a “loophole” created by the abolition of the law on the annulment of citizenship.

In June, the High Court ruled in favor of Delil Alexander, a Turkish citizen whose Australian citizenship was canceled in July 2021 due to an assessment that he had joined the Islamic State and engaged in raiding and recruiting the abroad.

The decision led the government to restore the citizenship of Alexander and one other person, but it is now believed that up to 20 other people could apply for the restoration of citizenship due to the precedent.

Related: The court rules minister cannot deprive dual Australian citizens for suspected terrorism

This came as a blow to the citizenship cancellation powers first approved by the Coalition in 2015, when then Prime Minister Tony Abbott and current Liberal leader, Peter Dutton, unsuccessfully argued that even citizens alone Australians should be able to be targeted.

O’Neil said the laws that allowed ministerial discretion to nullify citizenship were “a monumental mistake by Mr. Dutton.”

“He personally supported these laws and is personally responsible for their failure, especially because he ignored all the advice he was given during their passage to parliament.”

Labor members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security had warned in February 2019 that the law was likely unconstitutional.

“Laws that fail in the courts don’t make the country safer,” O’Neil said.

“If terrorists commit crimes against Australia, and we can take away their citizenship, we should. We will make laws to achieve this, because this is the safest thing for our country. Our new laws will be tough and will work ”.

Shadow Immigration Minister Dan Tehan told Sky News on Monday that the deregistration laws had “kept Australians safe … We want this loophole to be resolved.”

Related: Woman deprived of Australian citizenship for the alleged role of Isis launches an offer to overturn the law

Following Alexander’s decision, the Albanian government has concluded that it should not also challenge the case of Zehra Duman, who will now see citizenship restored after launching a challenge in June 2020.

Duman allegedly left Australia in 2014 to marry a Melbourne Isis fighter, Mahmoud Abdullatif, who the Home Affairs Department said in July 2019 meant she would be “in the service of a declared terrorist organization.”

Duman, like Alexander, argued that the automatic removal of citizenship is similar to parliament judging criminal guilt and imposing punishment, in violation of the separation of powers.

Tehan said that if the government does not intend to “fight” the Duman case “it must ensure that these laws that will solve this loophole go into effect immediately so that this problem can be addressed.”

The federal government also has the power to issue temporary ban orders to prevent its citizens from returning to Australia, which O’Neil said in June allowed him to “manage the risk posed to Australians by offshore individuals.” .

Guardian Australia has reached out to Dutton for comment.

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