Statelessness Determination Procedures
Towards a Bespoke Procedure for Nigeria
Statelessness is a phenomenon that affects every region and almost every country of the world. However, not very many states have mechanisms in place to identify and prevent it, and protect stateless persons. This article ascertains international norms and best practices regarding the establishment and operation of a Statelessness Determination Procedure (‘SDP’), and to apply these to a future SDP in Nigeria. The requirements for an SDP are drawn from conventions, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees instruments and state practice. In proposing an SDP for Nigeria, in this contribution we strive for the most extensive protection for stateless persons, while taking the particular legal and institutional framework of Nigeria into account. We conclude that Nigeria, and in fact any state, may want to devote particular attention to standards relating to the legality and ‘bindingness’ of the proposed SDP, to procedural access and to procedural guarantees.