3 Dec 2019, 15.39

The Joint Committee on Justice and Equality will meet tomorrow (Wednesday) at 9am in Committee Room 2, Leinster House to discuss citizenship rights in light of the recent DeSouza ruling and the Good Friday Agreement.

The Committee will hear submissions from Emma DeSouza from Derry, who is challenging being automatically ruled a British citizen under UK law rather than having a choice of Irish citizenship as provided for in the Good Friday Agreement; Belfast-based academic and expert on human rights law, Professor Colin Harvey; and Una Boyd, of the Committee for the Administration of Justice.

Ahead of the meeting, Committee Chairman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said: “The Good Friday Agreement clearly states that it is the birthright of anyone born in the North to identify as Irish, British or both. The two governments also pledged in the Agreement to recognise the right to hold both Irish and British citizenship.

“The ruling of the Upper Immigration Tribunal that Emma DeSouza is automatically a British citizen would appear to be in breach of the terms of the Agreement reached in 1998, and brings British domestic law into conflict with its international treaty obligations as agreed under the Good Friday Agreement. Members look forward to hearing an update from Emma on her latest attempt to appeal this contentious ruling, as well as the views of Professor Harvey and Ms Boyd on this critical issue for everyone in the North.”

Watch the Committee meeting live.

Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the move, through the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.

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