The federal government should be prosecuting dual-national Australian terrorists, not stripping them of citizenship, a joint parliamentary security committee has heard.
The Australia Centre for International Justice fronted a joint parliamentary intelligence committee review on the government's proposed changes to its citizenship-revoking laws on Friday.
Under the proposed changes, people convicted of terrorism offences resulting in three years jail - rather than six years - would have their citizenship revoked.
It will also apply to conduct since May 29, 2003, instead of December 12, 2015.
But the centre's director Rawan Arraf said stripping citizenship from dual-nationals for terrorism was "ineffective" and it was "inconsistent" with Australia's international commitments.
Ms Arraf referred to Neil Prakash, an Australian in jail in Turkey after being caught fighting for ISIS in Syria.
She said the decision to revoke his citizenship led to the inability to extradite him and was a failed opportunity to try him for international war crimes.
While acknowledging the government had expressed concerns about being able to collect evidence for such prosecutions, Ms Arraf pointed to the efforts it went to investigate the downing of MH17.
The Human Rights Commission told the committee a minister's decision to strip citizenship should be open to independent review by an administrative tribunal.
The commission's deputy general counsel Graeme Edgerton said simply allowing a minister to be "satisfied" the person had dual citizenship would leave people stateless without proper evidence.
He also said more effort should be made by the government to notify people their citizenship would be stripped, with the system only requiring a letter be sent to the last known address.
The Law Council of Australia said a minister would only have to consider the conduct of an offence, rather than any political or ideological motivation, which would define it as a terrorist offence under criminal law.
The council's David Neal said someone like Bourke Street killer James Gargasoulas, who killed six people in 2017 when he drove his car through Melbourne's CBD, would be deported.
Dr Neal said it was "unreal" a minister would only have to consider the conduct, while a court would have to prove terrorist motivations.
He said the citizenship loss board reviewing decisions to revoke citizenships was a "poor substitute" for a court.
"I do notice that when parliamentarians had their dual citizenships challenged they wouldn't settle for anything less than the High Court," Dr Neal said.
Both Mr Edgerton and Dr Neal agreed with Labor shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus' suggestion that under the laws, people who had their citizenship wrongly revoked wouldn't have any means to seek compensation.