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

The applicant is a Polish national, whose son was born in Belarus to a mother who is a national of Belarus. The applicant was originally not mentioned as a father on the birth certificate, but established his paternity through a court order in Poland, unfortunately missing the 12-months deadline since the birth of his son to be able to claim Polish nationality for his son. The Court comments on the applicability of Article 24 ICCPR, stating that it is not applicable since the child acquired Belarusian nationality, and implying that if the child would have been stateless Article 24 ICCPR may have resulted in an interpretation of the Polish law so as to remedy the child's statelessness. 

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: Supreme Administrative Court
State: Poland
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in the US, and his birth certificate indicated a Polish national as the father, and an unknown surrogate mother as the mother. Polish authorities refused to confirm the applicant acquired Polish nationality at birth as a child of a Polish parent, because the birth certificate is against the Polish public order, in particular the prohibition of surrogacy. The courts ruled in favour of the applicant, stating that confirmation of his Polish nationality on the basis of the birth certificate does not amount to validation of surrogacy.

Court name: Administrative Court in Rijeka
State: Croatia
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in Yugoslavia on the territory of Croatia, to parents who were born on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The applicant's birth registration erroneously included an entry "Muslim", which was subsequently crossed out and replaced by a reference to his origin from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The applicant argued that he should have been registered as a Croatian national at birth, just like his brother was, and that denial of Croatian nationality status would mean that he became stateless after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. 

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

The applicants are children born presumably in a surrogacy arrangement in Ukraine to two Austrian nationals. Even though the custody of the commissioning parents over the applicants was confirmed under the Austrian law, their parentage and consequently the Austrian nationality of the applicants was initially denied. The Court considered that the best interests of the child prevail in such a case over the prohibition of surrogacy under Austrian law, and confirmed the applicants' right to Austrian nationality. 

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

The applicant attempted to naturalise in the Netherlands, but her request was rejected because she did not submit a legalised birth certificate. The applicant argued that as an ethnic Armenian from Azerbaijan she is most likely stateless, and would not be able to get assistance from the authorities in obtaining a birth certificate. The Court upheld the administrative decision to deny naturalisation, as not sufficient evidence was provided that it was in fact impossible for the applicant to obtain a birth certificate in her country of origin. 

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

The applicant, a stateless Palestinian, was denied naturalisation in the Netherlands as he could not submit a legalised copy of his birth certificate, even though he did comply with all other requirements for obtaining Dutch nationality. He argued that it is not feasible for him to obtain a birth certificate from Israel, and submitted supporting statements from the formal Palestinian Delegation in the Hague, but neither the authorities nor the courts were convinced, and his naturalisation request remained denied, leaving him stateless. 

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

The applicant was born abroad to two Polish mothers, and acquired Polish nationality on the basis of at least one of his parents being Polish. However, he was unable to access Polish identity documents, for which a transcription of a foreign birth certificate into the Polish legal order is required - the latter being denied as the concept of two mothers contradicts the fundamental principles of Polish legal order. The Court ruled in favour of the applicant, relying heavily on national and international children's rights norms. 

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

The applicant was born in Poland to a Vietnamese mother. When she was 9 years old a Polish citizen formally recognised her as his daughter, and the local authority subsequently confirmed that she is a Polish citizen by birth. She was growing up as a Polish citizen until another 8 years later the central government authorities invalidated the confirmation of nationality by the local authority, as according to the Polish Citizenship Law changes in parenthood can only lead to acquisition of Polish citizenship if they take place within 1 year of birth. The applicant's arguments related to article 8 ECHR, best interests of the child, as well as long-term presumption of Polish citizenship due to no fault of the applicant, although the court dismissed all arguments.

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

Mr. B and Mrs. C, a married couple who got recognised as stateless by OFPRA, did not mention they had a daughter (Miss A, the applicant) when applying for statelessness status. When Miss A also applied for a statelessness status, and provided a birth certificate proving that Mr. B and Mrs. C are her parents, OFPRA denied her application, partially because they doubted the parental relations, and partially because they considered that she did not take the necessary steps to get recognised as a national by either Italy or the successor states of Yugoslavia - where her parents are from. The Court ruled that OFPRA based its decision on an error of assessment, and ordered it to grant Miss A the statelessness status. 

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: Social Welfare Court Munich
State: Germany
Date of decision:

The plaintiff sought parental allowance for her daughter and the defendant rejected the demand due to insufficient prove of identity.The court determined that the plaintiff is entitled to a parental allowance. The Act on Parental Allowance and Parental Leave (Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz) does not provide for the exclusion of benefits in case of general doubts about the identity of the applicant.

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: Constitutional Court of the Republic of Serbia (Ustavni sud Srbije)
State: Serbia
Date of decision:

An initiative was submitted to the Constitutional Court of Serbia to assess the provisions of two by-laws that prevent registration of children in the birth registry immediately after birth, in cases when the children’s parents do not possess personal documents, on the grounds that the by-laws are not in accordance with the provisions of the Serbian Constitution, the Family Law and ratified international conventions which guarantee the right to birth registration and personal name to every child, immediately after birth. The Constitutional Court rejected the initiative, on the grounds that possession of an ID card is legally binding on all citizens of the Republic of Serbia who are over 16 years of age and have permanent residence on the territory of the Republic of Serbia.

Court name: European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section)
State: France
Date of decision:

The cases concerned the refusal to grant legal recognition in France to parent-child relationships that had been legally established in the United States between children born as a result of surrogacy treatment and the couples who had had the treatment. Totally prohibiting the establishment of a relationship between a father and his biological children born following surrogacy arrangements abroad was found in breach of the Convention