Al Jedda v SSHD [2013] UKSC 62

British Citizenship

Al Jedda v SSHD [2013] UKSC 62 is the first case on deprivation of citizenship to reach the Supreme Court.


Al Jedda was an Iraqi refugee and was granted British nationality in 2000. He travelled to Iraq in 2004. He was detained by British forces following suspicion of his involvement in terrorism. In 2007, before releasing him without charge, the Secretary of State made an order depriving him of his British citizenship.


The power of depriving citizenship is extremely broad. The Secretary of State must be satisfied that deprivation is “conducive to the public good”. However, a deprivation order is prohibited if that would make a person stateless under The British Nationality Act 1981.

The Secretary of State argued that the appellant in Al Jedda v SSHD could reapply for the citizenship of Iraq. She appealed to the Supreme Court on the grounds that the Al Jedda applied for an Iraqi passport and held Iraqi citizenship. On the other hand, Al Jedda argued that the passport referred to by the Secretary of State was fake.

Was the appellant successful?


No. Al Jedda was not successful. 

Furthermore, Iraqi Law required Al Jedda, who had renounced his Iraqi nationality and wished to regain it, to return to Iraq legally. Further, he must stay there for at least one year. As a result, restoration of the nationality would then be possible but not guaranteed. 

References: [2013] UKSC 62, [2014] A.C. 253 

Read our notes and other cases on British Citizenship for more information. 

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