Principles of Nationality
Nationality law is the principle which is applicable in every country and jurisdiction within all countries. These principles characterize the rights and obligation of citizenship within specified jurisdictions according to which citizenship can be acquired or lost. The citizen of any country is regarded as an alien or foreigner when he/she goes to another country. Anyone who does not possess the nationality of any country is stateless. According to International law, all countries have the right to grant a person nationality with all the rights of citizens or deny the same. This is usually determined by ‘public international law’ or by some customs, statutory law or case law whatever is applicable according to the prevalent circumstances.
Nationality law is based on the law of the soil according to which any child born on its territory naturally acquires the citizenship of that country. The other law is the law of blood according to which the child automatically acquires the nationality of its parents no matter where it is born. Currently, most countries apply the above laws in combination because of its right to deny or grant citizenship to anyone born within the country’s jurisdiction or for children born abroad. Previously most countries considered marriage to be quite important whereby the wife took on the husband’s nationality and usually lost her own citizenship.
This was reciprocal for many countries under international law. In some cases, the husband was given the citizenship of the women he married. This led to some issues such as the husband being made to serve in the military where military service was compulsory for citizens. This happened quite a lot in the 1960’s when people marrying American women had to serve in Vietnam as military service was compulsory for American citizens. Marriage sometimes deprived both men and women of certain citizenship rights until these laws were amended. They were also denied consular facilities because according to international law they were now considered foreigners.
Now, citizenship is not automatically revoked of either the man or women and in most cases the man applies for and gets the nationality of the women, especially in Western countries. Some people contend that such principles sometimes encourage a one-sided act of utter disregard for the sovereignty of countries upon the assumption of an individual or a country to take all means necessary for apprehending and bringing to justice the alleged offender. Criminal activities that are prosecuted under universal jurisdiction are considered to be heinous crimes which are not tolerable in any country. This perception is in alignment with to the idea that some international social controls should be adhered to by the world community