When did banishment/exile cease to be enforceable, if it ever was?

When did banishment/exile cease to be enforceable, if it ever was?


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Reading historical accounts, it is not infrequent to read about exiled persons, from Trotsky to the Puritans leaving England. And, nowadays, some look wistfully to legal ways to get rid of their undesirables, for example, Shamina Begum in the UK. While it is legally possible to expel a resident alien from your territory, my understanding is that countries can neither ban their citizens from return nor make them stateless which effectively prohibits exile of people who don't hold a dual nationality.

However, again back to history, there have been many cases of exile. When did the last "real exile" take place?

  • The exiled person is forced out of their own country. They do not choose to leave and aren't deported off to another country they are a citizen of. It is also not choosing not to return to avoid prosecution at home.

  • The exile is official, i.e. the person does not "leave for their own health" before they get arrested or the like. They are condemned and banned from entering their country and border officials could be expected to refuse entry. The expulsion is also despite recognition of their citizenship (Myanmar pretends Rohinga are not citizens).

    • To be clear, the recognition of citizenship also implies that the exile is not a deportation for immigration fraud, whether mistaken or not. Some countries have automatic retroactive processes to deny immigration, even citizenship, to people who participated in crimes against humanity, chiefly the Holocaust. To me, that's an immigration issue.

So, for example, when Baby Doc Duvalier flees Haiti and goes to live in France that is not so much an official exile as the simple recognition that he would face prosecution by authorities in his homeland. France took him in, less out of sympathy, than to give him an escape route so that he would not seek to prolong his dictatorship. Presumably Haiti let him leave to get rid of him.

On the contrary, Rome did have a legal system for removing its own citizens. And Wiki's entry on Trotsky does seem to indicate an actual exile, also indicated here.

Who last met both those criteria for a formal exile, mostly in democratic countries? It is still practiced somewhere?


There are international conventions against deprieving citizens of their right to stay (Article 13 UDHR), but like many such conventions they lack practical enforcement mechanisms unless translated into national law.

  • Various countries reserve the right to strip citizens of their citizenship (e.g. the UK). There are more or less effective safeguards against statelessness.
  • Historically, in 1976 the German Democratic Republic deprieved the singer Wolf Biermann of his citizenship while he was on a concert tour in the Federal Republic of Germany. I'm sure there are more recent cases.

Watch the video: TommyInnit Is Exiled From The Dream SMP..


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