Court name: Conseil d'Etat
State: France
Date of decision:

A Palestinian refugee was living in Lebanon and benefited from the protection of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) before moving to France in 2015. The applicant was granted status as a stateless person by a first instance Court in France, but the French bureau for the protection of refugees and stateless persons (OFPRA) appealed this decision. The Conseil d’Etat (Supreme French Administrative Court) quashed the Administrative Court of Appeal’s decision granting the applicant the status as a stateless person  because the Administrative Court of Appeal didn’t mention in its reasoning whether the applicant lost or no longer continued to benefit from the effective protection of the UNRWA. 

Court name: Supreme Administrative Court
State: Ukraine
Date of decision:

The applicant's Ukrainian nationality was withdrawn rendering him stateless, and subsequently a travel ban of 3 years was imposed on him due to a procedural violation of the border crossing rules. The applicant argued that the travel ban is disproportionate, that he enjoys lawful residence in Ukraine, has very close ties with Ukraine, and that the ban interferes with his right to challenge the deprivation of nationality which rendered him stateless in person in court. 

Court name: Supreme Administrative Court
State: Poland
Date of decision:

The judgment is an answer to a general legal question as to whether Polish law allows the incorporation of foreign birth certificates where parents are of the same sex. The question was prompted by the authorities' refusal to transcribe into Polish law the foreign birth certificate of a child born to two mothers, both of whom are Polish nationals. The applicant argued that since lack of a transcribed birth certificate inhibits her child's access to a Polish passport, it in practice leads to a situation that is identical to statelessness. 

Court name: Constitutional Court of Austria (Verfassungsgerichtshof)
State: Austria
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in 1974 to an Iranian father and Austrian mother, and by virtue of the laws applicable at the time only acquired Iranian nationality. Austrian nationality was granted to him by a court decision in 1981. He later moved to the US where he wishes to naturalise, and requested permission from Austria to retain Austrian nationality. Such permission, however, can only be granted to nationals by birth. The Court found a violation of the principle of equality of treatment among nationals. 

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. 

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: Constitutional Court of Austria (Verfassungsgerichtshof)
State: Austria
Date of decision:

The applicant acquired Austrian nationality in 1995 and renounced her former Turkish nationality in 1996 as a condition for retaining the Austrian nationality. In 2018 the Austrian authorities declared that she has no longer been an Austrian national since 1997 as it appeared that she voluntarily re-acquired her Turkish nationality at that time, which is a ground for automatic loss of Austrian nationality. The Court set aside the determination of loss of Austrian nationality as it did not carry out a proportionality test on the basis of the Tjebbes judgment.

Court name: Tirol Administrative Court
State: Austria
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in Belarus between 1990 and 1993, to parents of Armenian ethnic origin, and lived in Austria since the age of 9. Austria's civil registration allows for the registration of births of individuals who are stateless or whose nationality status is unclear, and the applicant argued her birth should be registered based on this provision, as she is stateless, or at least her nationality status in undetermined. The authorities considered that the applicant is an Armenian national based on findings in her asylum file, but the Court sided with the applicant and determined that she is entitled to have her birth registered in Austria.

Court name: Constitutional Court of Austria (Verfassungsgerichtshof)
State: Austria
Date of decision:

The applicant was issued an assurance that she will acquire Austrian nationality if she renounced her former Serbian nationality, which she did. However, after the assurance was issued the applicant committed a number of administrative offences, leading to the assurance being withdrawn after the renunciation of the former nationality has already taken place, resulting in the applicant's statelessness. The Court emphasised the constitutional significance of a letter of assurance of acquisition of nationality, and sided with the applicant. 

Court name: Vienna Administrative Court
State: Austria
Date of decision:

The applicant acquired Austrian nationality by naturalisation in 1997, and renounced her Turkish nationality in that context. In 2018 it appeared that the applicant was listed on the voter registers for Turkish nationals abroad. She did not provide proof that she did not re-acquire Turkish nationality, and on that basis the Austrian authorities declared she has lost her Austrian nationality automatically due to acquisition of a foreign nationality. 

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

The applicant received asylum status as a stateless Palestinian, but his request to register his statelessness in the municipal civil records was rejected due to lack of evidence. He has an original UNRWA document and an ID from Lebanon, but they were considered insufficient proof of identity as well as of statelessness. The applicant complained that inability to affirm his statelessness violates his identity rights under article 8 ECHR, as well as his rights as a stateless person under EU law, both of which arguments didn't succeed. 

Court name: Court of North-Holland
Date of decision:

The applicant naturalised in the Netherlands, after having derived his legal residence from being a partner of a Dutch resident. His naturalisation was later withdrawn, as it appeared he has concluded a marriage and fathered a child with another person in Egypt while still deriving residence rights from his relationship in the Netherlands. The Court confirmed the legality of withdrawal, despite the applicant becoming stateless as a result.

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

The applicant was born in the former USSR in the Nagorno-Karabakh region - a contested territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and he is ethnically Armenian. He entered France illegally, where he applied for stateless status (after unsuccessful asylum applications), which was rejected by the OFPRA, on the basis that he did not make enough effort to obtain nationalities of either Azerbaijan or Armenia. The Court upheld the administrative decision denying applicant the stateless status. 

Court name: Bezenchuk Regional Court of Samara Oblast
Date of decision:

The applicant was charged with an administrative offence for not having proof of permission to be on the Russian territory. The Court ruled that the applicant's identity has not been established with a sufficient degree of certainty to charge him with an administrative violation. If the applicant lacks identity documents, the authorities need to follow prescribed procedures for establishing identity before such person can be charged with an administrative offence. 

Court name: Supreme Administrative Court
State: Ukraine
Date of decision:

The applicant and his two children acquired Ukrainian nationality in 2004, on the basis of "territorial origin" provision. The acquisition was "cancelled" twelve years later on the basis of a statement by the applicant's (alleged) mother that the birth certificate submitted by the applicant in 2004 contained inaccurate information about his parentage. The Court sided with the applicant, maintaining that the accuracy of a birth certificate cannot be challenged on the mere basis of a statement, but also taking into consideration that the administrative decision rendered the applicant stateless in violation of national and international norms. 

Court name: Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
Date of decision:

The Secretary of State for the Home Department appealed a decision to overturn two orders depriving E3 and N3 of their British citizenship. The issue raised by the appeal was whether the Secretary of State was precluded by section 40(4) of the 1981 Act from making the orders, because they rendered E3 and N3 stateless. The focus of the Court of Appeal’s judgment was whether the burden of proof concerning whether E3 and N3 would be rendered stateless following deprivation of their British citizenship fell on the Secretary of State or E3 and N3.

Court name: Court of the Hague
Date of decision:

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. The legislative proposal on statelessness of 20146 is mentioned by the Ministry in its arguments. 

Court name: High Court of Crimean Republic (Верховный Суд Республики Крым)
Date of decision:

The case concerns an applicant who was a Ukrainian citizen and a resident of Crimean Peninsular at the time of Crimean annexation to Russia. He was originally issued with a Russian passport in 2014, which was subsequently confiscated as a government initiated verification procedure established he did not comply with the relevant residency requirements to be considered a Russian citizen. The Court, on appeal, sided with the applicant, confirming his right to Russian citizenship despite not complying with all the formal requirements. 

In its reasoning the Court relied heavily on the importance to take all the relevant and factual evidence when establishing the legal fact of residence, and basing it on a broad range of evidence about the person's personal and professional life, as well as intentions, not the merely the strict formalistic rules of residence registration, especially in light of consequences of denial of access to citizenship for the applicant, and the circumstances of state succession. The Court refers extensively to international legal instruments, even those Russia hasn't ratified, such as the European Convention on Nationality and its anti-statelessness safeguards, the CoE Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in Relation to State Succession, as well as art. 15 UDHR, and other international legal instruments.

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

The Court of Cassation ruled that a stateless person could be deported only in the case provided for in Article 31 of the 1954 Convention, i.e. on the basis on national security or public order, and not on the grounds of their irregular presence on the territory. Article 31 is applicable, by analogy, to de facto statelessness and/or pending a formal statelessness determination procedure, if the condition of stateless had already emerged from the information and documentation provided by the competent authorities (of the Italian state or of the country of origin). The Court recognised the de facto stateless status of the applicant and repealed the deportation orders.

Court name: Provincial Administrative Court in Kraków
State: Poland
Date of decision:

The public prosecutor appealed to the Provincial Administrative Court in Kraków (“Court”) against the transcription of A.Z.’s birth certificate by the Head of the Registry Office in Krakow into the Polish Civil Register, claiming that it is contrary to the fundamental principles of the legal order of the Republic of Poland because A.Z.’s birth certificate listed two women as parents. The appeal was dismissed.

The Court stated that due to the large number of states that have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and because many states include similar provisions in their national legislation, legal experts argue that the right of a child to nationality is part of international customary law, therefore everyone should acquire a nationality at birth.

Court name: Administrative Jurisdiction Division from the Council of State
Date of decision:

Request to have nationality changed from "unknown" to "stateless" denied, as it cannot be ruled out that the applicant's father has Macedonian nationality. Applicant did not provide enough evidence to determine statelessness.

Court name: Supreme Administrative Court
Date of decision:

Stateless people should be granted a legal status and identity card during the statelessness determination procedure. The State's failure to grant a right to stay on the territory while waiting for a decision is in violation of the applicant's right to respect for private and family life.

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: Human Rights Committee
State: Albania
Date of decision:
Key aspects: Birth registration

Communicated case to the Human Rights Committee concerning 'immediate birth registration' by Albanian authorities who refuse on the basis of lack of a birth certificate in the form required by law.

Court name: Kyiv District Administrative Court (Київський окружний адміністративний суд)
State: Ukraine
Date of decision:

The plaintiff lost the passport of citizen of Ukraine, which was issued in the currently uncontrolled territory of Ukraine. The court ordered the State Migration Service to issue a passport to the plaintiff, since the SMS did not prove the reasonableness and lawfulness of the decision to refuse to issue a passport as a citizen of Ukraine.