Karin Kneissl Could Lose Citizenship: Debating Austrian Law and her Move to Russia

The prospect of Kneissl potentially losing her Austrian citizenship has generated significant discussion within Austria. Supporters argue that her current endeavors and the potential move to Russia could harm the country’s interests and reputation, warranting the application of § 33 of the Citizenship Act. This section allows citizenship to be revoked if an individual’s behavior significantly damages the interests or reputation of the Republic. However, opponents contend that the provision in question is vague and primarily targets cases of espionage, making it unsuitable for Kneissl’s situation.

Renowned international law expert Ralph Janik firmly believes that Kneissl’s citizenship should not be revoked. While acknowledging the theoretical possibility, he highlights the imprecise nature of the relevant provision. Janik emphasizes that the interpretation of the law should be guided by solid legal grounds rather than speculation. He argues that § 33 primarily aims to address cases involving espionage rather than political activities such as those undertaken by Kneissl.

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June 21, 2023 | 8:24 pm