What makes a citizen?
August 26, 2022
Our Year 11 Legal Studies class recently had a guest lecture from Mrs Jeni Percival on the moral and ethical complexity of citizenship law after the War on Terror and the rise of the Islamic State.
Mrs Percival is currently undertaking a PhD at ANU in Canberra, studying extremism and terrorism from the Extreme Right. Previously she worked with the Lowy Institute on a project called ‘The Typology of Terror’, gathering data on Australians who had left Australia to fight with the Islamic State, or those who had committed domestic terrorism here in Australia in the name of the Islamic State. It is information from this project that formed the basis of what she spoke to our students about – the application of the law with regards to citizenship for those who departed Australia and fought with the Islamic State in Syria.
Legal Studies in Year 11 covers a range of topics related to rights and responsibilities, dispute resolution between the individual and the state, as well as the practical application of law, both internationally and domestically. Jeni was able to give us an insight into the legal system, particularly how laws reflect a society’s values and standards, and the responsiveness of the law to critical global issues. In addition, she looked at the conflict between the role of the state and the rights of citizens.
The immediate impact of Mrs Percival’s lecture was clear with one student remarking afterwards:
“We learned so much – I cannot believe how little I knew about something that is critical to understand as an Australian citizen”.