Court name: Administrative Court of Appeal of Nantes
State: France
Date of decision:

The applicant is from Western Sahara and identifies as a Sahrawi, a territory occupied by Morocco. Having fled to France, he  argued that he should qualify as a stateless person even though his birth certificate indicates that he has Moroccan nationality. He argued that this matter should be referred to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling. 

Court name: Administrative Court of Appeal of Bordeaux
State: France
Date of decision:

The applicant asked to be granted the status as a stateless person in France, however both the OFPRA (French bureau for the protection of refugees and stateless persons) and the Courts denied him this status on the grounds that he did not take sufficient steps to request nationality from the Armenian authorities. He also argued that people from Azerbaijan face discrimination and are often refused Russian nationality, even when they may be able to benefit from it. The Court concluded that no discrimination exists and the applicant failed to take steps to obtain Russian nationality.  

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

The Ministry of Interior requested for the decision concerning the recognition of the respondent’s stateless status, be overturned. The case on appeal raised two points of principle: first, the burden of proof applicable to the determination of whether a person qualifies for stateless status, as defined in the 1954 Convention; and secondly, the consideration of stateless persons as a particular category of aliens comparable to beneficiaries of international protection. The Supreme Court overruled the Court of Appeal’s previous decision and ordered the Tribunal for a new assessment of the applicant’s status.

Court name: Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo)
State: Spain
Date of decision:

Saharawi refugees living in its camps have not explicitly or implicitly been recognised as Algerian nationals, by the Algerian Government. The applicant’s passport issued by the Algerian Government grants the status of a travel document. Specifically, it was granted to allow the applicant to travel for medical reasons. The applicant’s stateless status must be recognised.

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

The applicant was born in South Africa, and subsequently lived in Zimbabwe and Spain before arriving to Luxembourg, where he applied for the recognition of his statelessness status. The request was initially refused by the authorities since the applicant was not residing legally in Luxembourg at the time he submitted the application, but the courts ruled in applicant's favour, finding that the applicants residence status in Luxembourg is irrelevant for establishing whether he is stateless. 

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

The applicant made several unsuccessful applications for asylum and other protection statuses in Luxembourg, before applying for a statelessness status. The latter was refused, as the Algerian consular authorities' statement concerning the applicant was interpreted as lack of confirmation of the applicant's identity, not a denial of Algerian nationality to him. 

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

The applicant is a Palestinian from Syria, who holds a refugee status in Hungary. He also applied for a recognition as a stateless person in Luxembourg. The Court found that the 1954 Statelessness Convention was conceived as complementary to the Refugee Convention. Since the applicant as a refugee in Hungary received at least as good a protection as a Palestinian in an UNRWA protected territory, the latter category being explicitly excluded from the protection scope of the 1954 Convention, the applicant did not qualify for the recognition of a statelessness status in Luxembourg. 

Court name: Federal Administrative Court of Switzerland
Date of decision:

The applicant was a Syrian national of Kurdish ethnicity, who unsuccessfully applied for asylum in Switzerland. He subsequently claimed that he has been deprived of Syrian nationality and therefore ought to be recognised as stateless. The State Secretariat for Migration and the Court decided that he did not meet the standard of proof to substantiate his statelessness of 'full proof'.

Court name: Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland
Date of decision:

Applicants are two Syrian Kurds who entered Switzerland on Syrian passports and claimed asylum, but the asylum application was rejected. They subsequently claimed recognition as stateless persons, but that request failed too. 

Court name: Federal Administrative Court of Switzerland
Date of decision:

The applicant is a Syrian Kurd, who fled to Austria in 2011. Just after he left, Syria passed a Decree that would have allowed the applicant to acquire Syrian nationality. The applicant was thus deemed to have been able to acquire Syrian nationality, even if he hasn’t done that, and therefore was not entitled to a stateless status.  

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

The judgment relies on earlier Constitutional Court judgments that have established that stateless persons who lost their nationality involuntarily and demonstrated that they do not have the right to permanent legal residence elsewhere should get residence rights in Belgium on an equal footing with refugees, and that the necessary national legislation is lacking to give effect to such rights. The applicant has a criminal record and was denied residence rights on that basis, but the Court ruled that criminal convictions are irrelevant for his residence rights, and ordered authorities to regularise his residence until new legislation comes to force that regulates the stateless persons' right to residence. 

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

The applicant arrived in Belgium in 2000 from Kazakhstan. He claimed to have lost his Kazakh nationality on the basis of a Kazakh law providing for such loss in case of permanent residence abroad for over 3 years without registration at the consulate. The Court studied the relevant Kazakh legislation as well as the implementing Presidential Decree, and found that such loss is not automatic, but requires a decision of a competent authority instead, and therefore the applicant's statelessness was not sufficiently substantiated. 

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

The applicant belongs to the Armenian ethnic minority in Azerbaijan. The Court declared her stateless, as the consular representatives of Azerbaijan in Belgium clearly refused to recognise her as a national on the basis of her ethnicity, even though by operation of law she may in fact have acquired Azerbaijani nationality. In determining her statelessness, the Court took into account the fact that she was previously unable to be recognised as Armenian, and does not have connections with any other States. 

Court name: Schleswig-Holsteinisches High Regional Court
State: Germany
Date of decision:

The applicants are ethnic Armenians born in Azerbaijan. The case addresses extensively the situation of ethnic Armenians from Azerbaijan who left Azerbaijan before the fall of the USSR, and lived in Russia in the 90s. Their potential Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian nationalities are considered. The Court also discusses the legal residence requirement for a travel document in accordance with the 1954 Convention, and finds that such a permit does not need to be of a permanent nature. Applicants are found stateless by the Court and entitled to a stateless persons travel document. 

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

The appellant requested that the decision of the Court of Appeal be overturned, and her stateless status be recognised.  The appeal raises two points of principle: first, the burden of proof applicable to the determination of whether a person qualifies for stateless status as defined in the 1954 Convention; and secondly, the consideration of stateless persons as a particular category of foreigners comparable to beneficiaries of international protection. The court recognised the stateless status of the applicant and overruled the decision of the Court of Appeal.

Court name: Schleswig-Holsteinisches High Regional Court
State: Germany
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in 2011 in Germany to a German father and a stateless mother. Her birth certificate contained the disclaimer that the mother's identity is "unconfirmed", which the applicant and the parents appealed against, as the stateless mother was extensively documented among others with a travel document for stateless persons issued by Germany. The Court upheld the appeal, and ordered the civil registry to issue a new birth certificate without disclaimers as to the mother's identity. 

Court name: Nantes Administrative Court of Appeal
State: France
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in Taiwan, and entered France as an unaccompanied minor on a "borrowed" passport. Her application for stateless status was rejected, as she did not make sufficient effort to obtain Chinese nationality. OFPRA also relied on the applicant having had a "double identity" in France and therefore being untrustworthy, and on the fact that France does not recognise Taiwan as an independent state. 

Court name: Bordeaux Administrative Court of Appeal
State: France
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in Kosovo and arrived to France irregularly in 2009. Her application for a statelessness status was rejected because OFPRA considered both Kosovo and Serbia to be potential countries of the applicant's nationality, and have rejected the applicant's arguments that as a member of Roma community she was subject to discrimination and would not be able to access those nationalities. 

Court name: Nantes Administrative Court of Appeal
State: France
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in Azerbaijan to Armenian parents. In the course of his asylum application he claims to have lived in Russia and served in the Russian army before arriving in France. His asylum application was rejected, as well as his statelessness application - as according to the information he provided in his asylum application he would have automatically acquired Russian nationality in the context of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. 

Court name: Nantes Administrative Court of Appeal
State: France
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in Azerbaijan to an Armenian father and an Azeri mother, and subsequently lived in Russia and Belarus before arriving in France. His stateless status application was rejected as he did not demonstrate having made repeated and diligent attempts at getting recognised as a national by Russia, Armenia or Azerbaijan. The Court upheld the administrative decision. 

Court name: Marseille Administrative Court of Appeal
State: France
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in Italy to parents born in former Yugoslavia. His stateless status was denied on the basis that he did not make enough efforts to be recognised as a national of either Italy, Croatia or Macedonia. 

Court name: Versailles Administrative Court of Appeal
State: France
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in the USSR, on the territory of contemporary Ukraine. He was denied stateless status in France on the basis that he did not make any efforts to get recognised as a national by either Ukraine or Russia. The Court upheld OFPRA's decision, ruling moreover that since the statelessness determination procedure is not aimed at granting residence rights, the applicant cannot rely on potential violations of articles 3 and 8 ECHR in case he is forced to return to Ukraine. 

Court name: Paris Administrative Court of Appeal
State: France
Date of decision:

The applicant lost her Khazakh nationality by operation of law due to not having registered with Khazakh consular authorities within 3 years of her departure. In these three years she had an asylum claim pending in France, and therefore could not have been expected to contact Khazakh authorities. OFPRA rejected her application for stateless status as she did not demonstrate to have made sufficient efforts to regain her Khazakh nationality. 

Court name: Nancy Administrative Court of Appeal
State: France
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in Syria, where he was involved in violence in the context of an armed conflict. During his life in France he was convicted if multiple crimes and served prison sentences. His application for the statelessness status was rejected for two reasons - firstly, he did not show sufficient efforts to obtain or confirm his Syrian nationality, and secondly he fell under the exclusion clauses of the 1954 Convention - the latter having been the reason for rejecting his asylum claim too. The Court upheld the administrative decision on both grounds. 

Court name: Lyon Administrative Court of Appeal
State: France
Date of decision:

The applicant claimed to have been born in Kuwait to parents of Palestinian origin. OFPRA denied him stateless status on the basis that neither his Palestinian origin nor his place of birth being Kuwait could be confirmed, and the Court upheld this administrative decision. The Court also ruled that Palestinians who are outside of the UNRWA territory are in principle not excluded from protection under the 1954 Convention.