European Journal of Migration and Law 6 : 195–203, 2004. © 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV . Printed in the Netherlands. 195 The Reform of the Law on Citizenship in Germany: Political Aims, Legal Concepts and Provisional Results HOLGER HOFFMANN* 1. Introduction After a two year political debate which started in 1998, the German law on citi- zenship was reformed with effect from 1 January 2000. Those government politi- cians who like to see their work in a positive light called the small changes made ‘a substantial reform’. In truth, however, only very modest steps were taken, because of strong right wing political opposition to the whole project. This article provides a brief account of the debate on German nationality law prior to the reform of 2000, before setting out a detailed account of the law as it stands after the reform. 2. The Legal Situation up to 1999 2.1. The Law on Citizenship Although only a small Act of about 40 sections, the 1913 Reichs- und Staats- angehörigkeitsgesetz (RuStAG), in force since 1914, together with administrative guidelines of several hundred sections, remained the legal basis for naturalisation in Germany until recently. This Act, issued when Germany was a
European Journal of Migration and Law – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2004
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