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Citizenship is an important aspect of one’s identity, providing rights and privileges within a particular country. In The Bahamas, recent legal proceedings have brought attention to the question of who is considered a citizen at birth. Let’;s explore this topic and shed light on the interpretation of the Bahamian Constitution regarding citizenship.

In a recent court case, the issue revolved around the citizenship status of a child born in The Bahamas to an unmarried Bahamian father and a non-citizen mother. The dispute centered on the interpretation of Article 6 of the Bahamian Constitution, which deals with citizenship at birth.

The Attorney General argued that citizenship should only be granted if the child’s parents were married at the time of birth. On the other hand, the respondents contended that citizenship should be conferred if at least one of the child’s parents was a Bahamian citizen, regardless of their marital status.

After considering the arguments, the courts ruled in favor of the respondents, asserting that the Bahamian Constitution indeed grants citizenship at birth to children born in The Bahamas to an unmarried Bahamian father and a non-citizen mother.

The courts based their decision on the clear language and intent of Article 6 of the Constitution. They emphasized that the purpose of this provision was to automatically confer citizenship on individuals born in The Bahamas, as long as one of their biological parents is a Bahamian citizen.

The courts rejected the Attorney General’s arguments, highlighting that interpreting Article 6 to exclude children of unmarried parents would lead to discriminatory outcomes and violate fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. They stressed that Bahamian citizenship is a vital and protected right, and restricting it based on arbitrary and discriminatory considerations is unjustifiable.

This ruling clarifies that a child born in The Bahamas to an unmarried Bahamian father and a non-citizen mother is considered a citizen at birth. This interpretation promotes equality and prevents unnecessary restrictions on citizenship rights, ensuring that all children born in The Bahamas to Bahamian parents are afforded the same privileges and opportunities.

Understanding the rules governing citizenship is crucial for any society. In The Bahamas, the recent legal proceedings have affirmed that children born to unmarried Bahamian fathers and non-citizen mothers are indeed citizens at birth. This decision aligns with the Constitution’s intention to grant citizenship to those with Bahamian parentage, irrespective of marital status. By upholding this principle, The Bahamas reaffirms its commitment to equality and the protection of fundamental rights for all its citizens.





 Author: Darron S. Pickstock | Partner,






 Co-Author: Tammie Knowles | Pupil,