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

This matter concerns the hearing of an application for judicial review of the decision of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal (RAT) on 20 May 2006. The purpose of this application was to affirm an earlier recommendation of the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) that the applicant should not be granted a declaration of refugee status. The leave to apply for judicial review was granted on four grounds. Firstly, there was a failure to consider the submissions of the applicant to the effect that the refusal of the Libyan State to admit her constituted a form of persecution. It was found that the respondent failed to consider the significance of such a refusal. Secondly, there was a failure to consider vital evidence submitted on the applicant's behalf. Thirdly, there was a failure to consider the applicant’s account of the extent to which she lived her life in fear and how general daily activities involved avoiding attached and finally, there was a failure to have regard to the applicant’s fear of persecution. The court rejected the application as it was satisfied that the RAT had considered the applicant's evidence and found that she did not have a well-founded fear of persecution. The court also relied on English case law to confirm that statelessness per se does not confer refugee status.

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

The applicant was previously a national of the former USSR, before becoming a “permanently resident non-citizen” of Latvia, where she moved at age 12. Her case is concerned with the deprivation her of pension entitlements in respect of 17 years’ employment due to discriminatory reasons regarding her lack of Latvian nationality. The Court ruled that there had been a violation of the applicant’s rights under Article 14 taken in conjunction with Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 and Article 6 § 1 of the Convention.

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 Montenegro
State: Montenegro
Date of decision:

The applicant attempted to obtain Montenegrin nationality for himself and his two minor children through naturalisation. The requests were rejected, as the applicant did not fulfil all the naturalisation requirements. However, with regard to the children, the Court ruled that even though their parent's naturalisation failed, their entitlement to the Montenegrin nationality should be explored on the basis of acquisition at birth, as the children are otherwise stateless, and annulled the part of the administrative decision related to the children on the basis of insufficient reasoning. 

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: Paris Administrative Court
State: France
Date of decision:

A Palestinian refugee in France applied for a statelessness status, which was rejected by OFPRA as it considered that the applicant falls under the exclusion grounds of Article 1(2) of the 1954 Convention. The Court annuls OFPRA's decision, stating that the applicant no longer enjoys the protection of UNRWA after having left the West Bank, and that the voluntary nature of his departure from UNRWA territory does not amount to him having voluntarily placed himself in the situation of statelessness. 

Court name: Bundesverwaltungsgericht (Federal Administrative Court)
State: Germany
Date of decision:

Deprivation of nationality made as an orderly sanction for failure to fulfil obligations that apply to all citizens, cannot be considered as a form of persecution that could justify asylum.

Court name: Court of Cassation
State: Belgium
Date of decision:

When a Palestinian refugee has left the territory covered by UNRWA’s mandate, she or he does no longer benefit from that protection. Thus, she or he cannot be legitimately excluded from the Statelessness Convention.

Court name: Constitutional Court
State: Belgium
Date of decision:

The absence of any legislative provision granting persons recognised as stateless in Belgium a residence right, comparable to that enjoyed by recognised refugees, is discriminatory.  

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

A stateless person of Chechen origin, whose real identity could not be determined with certainty, was detained in Bulgaria for several years. His application for asylum was rejected, but he stayed in detention as several countries denied him the right to enter. By the time the case reached the CJEU, the applicant had been in detention for 37 months. The court ruled that where there is no reasonable prospect of successful expulsion, individuals cannot be detained. The Court ruled on several points regarding the interpretation of Article 15(4) to (6) of Directive 2008/115/EC (EU Returns Directive), including on the calculation of the maximum period of detention. The Court also interpreted the concept of a (lack of) reasonable prospect of removal within the meaning of Article 15(4) of the Returns Directive, according to which detention ceases to be justified and the person concerned must be released immediately when it appears that, for legal or other considerations, a reasonable prospect of removal no longer exists.