Nationality is in both international and national law an important connecting factor for the attribution of rights and duties to individual persons and states. Under international law states have, for example, the right to grant diplomatic protection to persons who possess their nationality (Donner, 1983). Under national law the obligation to fulfil military service and the rights to become a member of parliament or to have high political functions are frequently linked to the possession of the nationality of the country involved. However, there is no standard list of duties and rights which normally are linked to the nationality of a state under national and international law (de Groot, 1989, pp. 13–15; Makarov, 1962, pp. 30, 31; Wiessner, 1989). National states are in prin ciple autonomous in their decision on which rights and duties are connected to the possession of nationality, whereas under international law the consequences of the possession of a nationality are also subject to discussion (van Panhuys, 1959). Nationality can be defined as ‘the legal bond between a person and a state’. This definition is, inter alia, given in Art. 2 (a) European Convention on Nationality (Strasbourg, 1997).
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