The Right to Citizenship and Human Dignity

This paper aims to explore the interconnection between the right to citizenship, in its strict legal sense, and the principle of human dignity. To this end, different uses of the principle of human dignity in the case law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Supreme Court of the United States concerning the right to citizenship are discussed. They are compared to judgments delivered on the same issue by the European Court of Human Rights and the House of Lords and the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, where, on the contrary, the idea of a dignity-based right
to nationality is absent. Court’s references to human dignity in nationality issues – far from simply adding a rhetorical flourish in highly contested cases – may help strengthen the implementation of this crucial, even though contested, right, while transforming the theoretical foundations of citizenship.