Court name: European Court of Human Rights
State: Ukraine
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in the Russian Federation and his birth was not duly registered. Lacking identity documents and unable to prove his nationality, he was detained in Ukraine for the purpose of expulsion. The Court held that the authorities did not act diligently to contact the Russian embassy and obtain documentation to evidence the applicant's Russian citizenship, and failed to review the lawfulness of his detention and to provide an effective remedy, in violation of Article 5(1), (4) and (5).

Court name: European Court of Human Rights
Date of decision:

A stateless applicant born in the Tajikistan Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union, was arrested for homelessness in Russia. The District Court ruled that he had to be preventively detained until expulsion back to the Tajikistan Republic.  The Russian State tried to obtain travel documentation for the applicant, overlooking the fact that the applicant was not a national of that State and that Tajikistan had no legal obligation to admit him, resulting in his preventive detention for two years. The Court found a violation of Article 5, as the applicant’s detention was not carried out in good faith due to the lack of a realistic prospect of his expulsion and the domestic authorities’ failure to conduct the proceedings with due diligence.

Court name: European Court of Human Rights
Date of decision:

The applicants, a stateless Palestinian from Syria and two Syrian nationals, entered Russia in 2013 and were kept in a detention centre before their expulsion to Syria. The Court held that the Government’s actions breached the applicant’s rights provided under Articles 2 and 3. The Court also stated that Articles 5(4) and 5(1)(f) had been violated with regards to their detention. The Court also held that the restricted contact with their respective representatives had breached Article 34 of the Convention. 

Court name: European Court of Human Rights
State: Bulgaria
Date of decision:

The three appellants are a Stateless man with Palestinian origins, born in Kuwait, who moved to Bulgaria, and his two children born in and holding Bulgarian nationality. The first applicant's permanent residence permit was withdrawn because of engagement in alleged religious extremism, and he was detained and subsequently deported to Syria. The Court held that there had been a violation of Article 5 § 4, 8, and 13 as a result of the deportation.

Court name: Supreme Court (Corte Suprema di Cassazione)
State: Italy
Date of decision:

The appellant faced deportation even though her stateless status was de facto recognised. For this reason, the appellant requested that the Justice of Peace’s decision be overturned, and for her stateless status to be recognised. The Supreme Court recognised the applicant’s stateless status and overruled the Justice of Peace’s decision.

Court name: Court of Appeal
State: Ireland
Date of decision:

This case concerned an appeal as to whether an applicant for subsidiary protection may be considered both as a national of a third country and a stateless person simultaneously under the European Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations 2006 and the Qualification Directive. The Court held that a person who is a national of a state is not a stateless person and that such state or country is his country of origin in relation to which his application must be primarily decided.

Court name: Supreme Court
Date of decision:

The applicant, who is stateless, was fined for violating immigration rules, and an expulsion order was issued against him, with a detention in an immigration detention centre prior to the expulsion. The applicant appealed against the detention, but the Court found no reasons to question the lawfulness of detention, as the law allows to detain foreigners and stateless persons prior to their expulsion. 

Court name: Administrative Court of Luxembourg
State: Luxembourg
Date of decision:

The applicant originates from former Soviet Union, and has lived in Luxembourg since 2004, unsuccessfully applying for the recognition of a statelessness status on numerous occasions. His identity has never been confirmed, and there were doubts as to the credibility of his testimony stemming from his asylum procedures. The applicant claimed that after 15 years of inability to determine the country of destination for his removal the attempts at deportation should be terminated, and his statelessness recognised, especially considering his poor health condition. 

Court name: Gent Court of Appeal
State: Belgium
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in China and is of Tibetan origin. He fled China to Nepal, and then made his way to Belgium through India on a fake passport. His asylum applications failed, he has been detained with a view to deportation to China, but had been released due to the Chinese authorities not issuing the necessary documents. The applicant also unsuccessfully attempted to organise voluntary return through IOM, contacting authorities of China, India, and Nepal. These facts convinced the Court to recognise the applicant as stateless. 

Court name: Council of State of the Netherlands (Raad van State)
Date of decision:

The case concerns the prospect of deportation of a stateless Palestinian to Lebanon, and the justifiability of immigration detention. The Court ruled that because there is evidence that the Lebanese authorities are willing to issue laissez-passers to both documented and undocumented Palestinians, and the talks between the authorities of the Netherlands and Lebanon are pending, there is a prospect of deportation of the applicant, and the detention is therefore justified. 

Court name: Supreme Court
Date of decision:

The applicant faces imprisonment for presence in the Netherlands, after he has been informed that a "declaration of undesirability" has been issued against him. His statelessness claim fails in Court, as his statelessness cannot be plausibly assumed. However, the Court does find that the decision to detain has to be better motivated in light of the EU Returns Directive, ensuring that the processes prescribed by the Directive have been completed. 

Court name: High Court
State: Ireland
Date of decision:

This case concerns an applicant who sought to quash the decision of the respondent which refused to revoke a deportation order made in respect of the applicant. The respondent contended that the applicant had been untruthful throughout the asylum process about his nationality and was therefore not entitled to any relief, while the applicant contended that the applicant’s untruthfulness should not be a bar to relief as substantial grounds established that a real risk to the applicant's life or freedom was inevitable. The Court found in favour of the applicant and quashed the decision of the respondent refusing to revoke the deportation order.

Court name: Sofia City Administrative Court
State: Bulgaria
Date of decision:

The case concerns the appeal by the stateless person from Kuwait, Mr. Sager Al-Anezi, against the decision of the asylum authorities in Bulgaria to reject his application for international protection as manifestly unfounded under a fast-track procedure carried out while Mr.Al-Anezi was placed in detention for removal. By a final judgment, the Sofia City Administrative Court allowed the appeal of Mr. Al-Anezi. The court judgment contains inter alia detailed analysis on the significance of the right to nationality as a fundamental human right; the application of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees to stateless persons and the situation of Bidoon in Kuwait.

Court name: European Court of Human Rights
State: Bulgaria
Date of decision:

The case originated in an application against the Republic of Bulgaria lodged by a stateless person of Palestinian origin, Mr Ahmed Jamal Auad, on 13 August 2010. He had obtained subsidiary international protection in Bulgaria, but later was served an expulsion order on national security grounds, detained for removal for 18 months and then released back in Bulgaria due to impossibility to implement the expulsion order. The judgment of the Court is particularly important with regard to the obligation of States to identify a destination country in removal orders: "In cases of aliens detained with a view to deportation, lack of clarity as to the destination country could hamper effective control of the authorities’ diligence in handling the deportation." (para.133).

Court name: Court of Justice of the European Union
State: Bulgaria
Date of decision:
Key aspects: Detention

The judgment concerns a reference for a preliminary ruling regarding the interpretation of Article 15(4) to (6) of Directive 2008/115/EC. The applicant in the main proceedings before the Sofia City Administrative Court in Bulgaria, Mr. Said Kadzoev, is a stateless person of Chechen origin. The reference for a preliminary ruling concerned the interaction between detention under asylum law and removal detention and the question whether the former counts within the 18-months maximum period of removal detention under Article 15 (6) of Directive 2008/115. The Court gave clear guidance as to the differentiation between the two types of administrative detention and the different purposes that they serve. The Court also interpreted the concept of a (lack of) reasonable prospect of removal within the meaning of Article 15 (4) of Directive 2008/115, which is of particular relevance in cases of detention of stateless persons.

Court name: European Court of Human Rights
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in 1962 in the Uzbek SSR of the Soviet Union. Since 1990 he has been living in St Petersburg, Russia. It appears that he did not acquire any nationality following the break-up of the USSR. He was undocumented and stopped by the police and later detained until his expulsion. The Embassy of Uzbekistan informed the Federal Migration Service that the applicant was not a national of Uzbekistan. The applicant was released on the basis of expiry of the two-year time – limit for enforcement. 

Court name: Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation (Конституционный суд Российской Федераци)
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in Georgia and moved to Leningrad before the breakup of the Soviet Union, where he was educated and got married. He was never able to exchange his Soviet passport for a Russian passport, was ordered to be expelled while the expulsion was not possible due to his statelessness. His attorney has repeatedly appealed the deportation ruling but in vain.

The decision changed judicial practice and provided a legal ground for the release of stateless persons from detention, even though the amendments to the legislation ordered by the Constitutional Court are still pending (as of May 2021).