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Aussie terrorists, spies to have citizenship stripped

The Commonwealth will be able to apply to strip the citizenship of convicted terrorists if they are dual Australian nationals after new laws passed parliament.



Terrorists and spies with dual-Australian nationality will be able to have their citizenship stripped.


New legislation passed the parliament on Wednesday after former laws were struck out by the High Court as unconstitutional.


It ruled only the courts could punish criminal guilt, not ministers.


Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus assured Australians the legislation got the balance right.


"Every aspect of the bill ... has been carefully developed and deliberately targeted to ensure that the regime has the best prospects of withstanding any constitutional challenge," he told reporters in Canberra.


The Commonwealth must apply to the court once an offender is convicted and sentenced, so the laws will not apply to previous cases. 


Stripping an offender of their citizenship meant they could then be deported from Australia, Mr Dreyfus said. 


The opposition wanted the government to go further and add slavery, child sex and torture offences as well as cover people who urge violence and advocate for terrorism or genocide. 


The coalition amendment was rejected by the government.  


The proposed amendments should form part of an inquiry by parliament's intelligence and security committee which will review the bill after it passes, Mr Dreyfus said.


The inquiry will report back by March 14.


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