Jus soli

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Jus soli (Latin: right of the soil),[1] also known as birthright citizenship, is a right by which nationality or citizenship can be recognized to any individual born in the territory of the related state.[2] At the turn of the nineteenth century, nation-states commonly divided themselves between those granting nationality on the grounds of jus soli (France, for example) and those granting it on the grounds of jus sanguinis (right of blood) (Germany, for example, before 2000). However, most European countries chose the German conception of an "objective nationality", based on blood, race or language (as in Fichte's classical definition of a nation), opposing themselves to republican Ernest Renan's "subjective nationality", based on a daily plebiscite of one's belonging to their Fatherland. This non-essentialist conception of nationality allowed the implementation of jus soli, against the essentialist jus sanguinis. However, today's increase of migrants has somewhat blurred the lines between these two antagonistic sources of right.

Countries that have acceded to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness will grant nationality to otherwise stateless persons who were born on their territory, or on a ship or plane flagged by the country.

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Lex soli

Lex soli is a law used in practice to regulate who and under what circumstances an individual can assert the right of jus soli. Most states provide a specific lex soli, in application of the respective jus soli, and it is the most common means of acquiring nationality. A frequent exception to lex soli is imposed when a child was born to a parent in the diplomatic or consular service of another state, on a mission to the state in question.

Blurred lines between jus soli and jus sanguinis

There is a trend in some countries toward restricting lex soli by requiring that at least one of the child's parents be a national of the state in question at the child's birth, or a legal permanent resident of the territory of the state in question at the child's birth.[3]

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