Some Aspects of Citizenship from the Perspective of International Law

AuthorJana Maftei
Legal Sciences in the New Millennium
Some Aspects of Citizenship
from the Perspective of International Law
Jana Maftei1
Abstract: One of the constitutive components of the state is the population. The population of the state
represents the total physical entities linked to a State through citizenship, whether residing in the territory of
that State o r it is in other states. The international regulations and cooperation between states in solving
problems on population refer to domains and legal institutions such as: dual citizenship, statelessness, th e
legal status of foreigners, the right to asylum, extradition, diplomatic protection, human rights, etc. There are
relevant for the public international law the issues relating to the conditions under which the legal status of
citizens of a state is recognized and it can be enforced against other states, the exercise compatibility of thos e
competences with international law rules. In this paper we have examined issues related to the fundamental
right of citizenship in the light of international documents, rules on acquiring citizenship and citizenship
conflicts. In preparing the paper we used as research methods the analysis of the problems generated by th e
mentioned subject with reference to the doctrinal views expressed in the Treaties and specialized papers, desk
research, interpretation of legal norms in the field.
Keywords: Universal Declaration of Human Rights; European convention on nationality; Convention on the
reduction of statelessness; conflicts of citizenship
1. Introduction
According to the doctrine of classical orientation, three constituents are necessary for a state to exist: a
territory, a population and a government (Savenco, 2006, p. 171), and citizenship is a matter of
defining the national identity, the nation being equivalent to the people who formed the foundation of
national states, the issue of citizenship is an essential attribute of states, the international law having
little to say on the matter. Ernest Gellner explained the formation of nations ―…An advanced culture is
reflected throughout the society, it defines it and it needs to be supported by the state organization.
This is the secret of nationalism.‖ (Gellner, 1997, p. 34) In his work Considerations on Representative
 John Stuart Mill stated that A portion of mankind may be said to constitute a
nationality, 'if they are united among themselves by common sympathies which do not exist between
them and any others, which make them co-operate more willingly than with other peoples, to be under
the same government, and desire that it should be government by themselves, or a portion of
themselves, exclusively. (Macartney, 1934, p. 5) Similarly, Karl W. Deutsch believes that at the
origin of the modern nation there is the link between people (Deutsch, 1966, p. 105).
1 Assistant Professor, PhD, Faculty of Law, ―Danubius‖ University of Galati, Romania, Address: 3 Galati Boulevard, 800654
Galati, Romania, Tel.: +40.372.361.102, fax: +40.372.361.290, Corresponding author:

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