The applicant is a dual Dutch/Moroccan national whose Dutch nationality was withdrawn on the basis of a criminal conviction for terrorist activities. The Court rejected the applicant's appeal, concluding, among others, that prevention of statelessness is a valid reason for differentiated treatment between those with a single and with multiple nationalities, and that withdrawal of nationality is not a punitive measure. Withdrawal of nationality in addition to the criminal sentence does not violate the principle that prohibits repeated punishments for the same action.
When naturalising in the Netherlands the applicant committed to renouncing his original nationality. The Dutch authorities have withdrawn his naturalisation as he missed the deadline for renunciation, but by then the applicant had already taken steps to renounce his original nationality, albeit after the deadline, thus leading to the decision of the Dutch authorities potentially rendering him stateless. The Court considered the direct effect of ECN in the Dutch legal order, as well as whether the applicant’s case amounted to fraudulent acquisition of nationality, which would potentially justify rendering him stateless under the ECN. The Court ordered the authorities to take a new decision, which takes into the account the developments that took place after the deadline, and referring to the risk of statelessness.
The applicant is a dual Moroccan-Dutch nationality, whose Dutch nationality was withdrawn as a consequence of his involvement in a terrorist organisation. The applicant argued that the legal ground for withdrawing nationality only affects dual nationals, who are almost always Dutch nationals with a non-Western background, and thus constitutes discrimination prohibited by the ECHR. The Court ruled that prevention of statelessness is a sufficient and objective justification of this distinction, and the distinction is therefore justified.
A child is born in the Netherlands in 2016, and has resided there since, without a legal residence permit. A request was made on behalf of the child to determine that he has Dutch nationality, on the basis of direct application of article 1 of the 1961 Convention, as he would otherwise be stateless. The Court refuses, as it considers this to be a question of granting Dutch nationality, and not of determination of Dutch nationality, which the Court is not empowered to do.