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Abstract from

Preparation of a Nationality Law: Promoting the Legal Identity of Women in the Field of Nationality

Carol Batchelor, BA (University of Washington), JD (Stanford), LLM (Cambridge), has recently taken up a new post as Deputy Chief of Mission, Office of the UNHCR Chargé de Mission in India. From 1994-2004, she was the Senior Legal Officer Statelessness for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, guiding developments within the United Nations concerning UNHCR’s role and activities on statelessness while spearheading global operations in this field. In this capacity, she has, among other things, participated with over 70 states in the preparation of new nationality laws.

International law has outlined basic principles intended to promote the advancement of an independent legal identity for women in the field of nationality. Some nationality laws articulate these concepts as principles underlying the law, although many laws make no specific reference to the rights of women. The actual implementation of the laws reveals a further gap. This article outlines some practical steps to assist states in the drafting and implementation of laws which further positive principles and practices pertaining to the nationality of a woman, and the ability for a woman to pass that identity on to her spouse and her children as relevant.

(2005) Volume 22 No 2 Law in Context 12

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