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The Nationality Law received the final green light from the President of the Republic on Saturday, after the Constitutional Court deemed that the amendments do not violate the Constitution.

The President of the Republic ratified the Nationality Law today, following the Constitutional Court’s (CC) constitutional approval of the changes to the rules for granting nationality to Sephardic Jews.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa had submitted to the Constitutional Court the parliament’s decree that alters the rules for granting nationality to descendants of Sephardic Jews, considering that it could worsen the situation of hostages in Gaza who have pending requests for Portuguese nationality.

On the 20th of this month, the CC decided, by majority, to consider constitutional the provisions that constitute the transitional regime, “essentially understanding that it does not undermine the legitimate expectations of nationality applicants, nor does it directly jeopardize the lives of its recipients or human dignity,” as stated in the ruling.

The CC understood that the amendment in question “does not materialize any restriction of rights, freedoms, and guarantees, nor does it violate the principle of protection of trust (…)” according to the principle of the Rule of Law.

In a statement published on the official website of the Presidency of the Republic on the Internet, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa stated that “the amendment to the nationality law, with effects applicable to ongoing processes, could worsen the situation of Israeli hostages in Gaza who have pending requests for Portuguese nationality.”

The changes to the nationality law were approved in the Assembly of the Republic in the final global vote on January 5, with votes in favor from the majority of PS, IL, BE, PAN, and Livre deputies, abstentions from PSD and three PS deputies, and votes against from Chega and PCP.

Regarding the attribution of nationality by naturalization, it is established in Article 6, which becomes “subject to final approval by an evaluation committee appointed by the member of the Government responsible for the area of justice,” with representatives from relevant services, researchers or teachers, and representatives of Jewish communities.

Source: Eco 

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