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

The applicant, a stateless person residing in Hungary, faced protracted difficulties in regularising his legal situation, being eventually recognised as stateless after fiften years' residence. During thirteen of those years, the applicant had no legal status in Hungary and was entitled to neither healthcare nor employment, nor was he able to marry.  The Court held that Hungary had not complied with its positive obligation to provide an effective and accessible procedure enabling the applicant to have his status in Hungary determined with due regard to his private-life interests under Article 8 of the Convention and that there had been a violation of that Article. 

Court name: Municipal Court Prague
Date of decision:

The court stated that “not admitting applicants for statelessness status to an asylum seekers' accommodation centre is an unlawful action” and the applicants should be admitted to an accommodation centre until a decision is made on their applications for recognition as a stateless person. The case was argued based on an analogy with the asylum procedure, as the reference to stateless persons is currently in the Czech Asylum Act. 

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: High Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia
State: Croatia
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in Croatia in 1998 and has lived there ever since. His parents are citizens of Serbia, but the applicant's citizenship status remained unclear. His request for a permanent residence permit in Croatia was rejected, among others due to lack of a valid travel document, lack of means of subsistence, and lack of health insurance. The Court ordered the authorities to issue a new decision, taking into account the ECHR judgment in Hoti v. Croatia, and the applicant's potential statelessness which is related to widespread difficulties in confirming Serbian citizenship of individuals in a similar situation to the applicant. The applicant initiated a new administrative dispute and the Administrative Court in Rijeka ruled in his favour, however, on appeal, the High Administrative Court rejected the applicant’s request.

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

After having been born, having lived, worked and and paid taxes in Austria his whole life the applicant was told he is not entitled to unemployment benefits as he did not have a right to work in Austria. While he was granted Austrian nationality upon application, he argued that he was entitled to unemployment benefits also in the time frame between becoming unemployed and acquiring the nationality, invoking his statelessness, and lack of implementation of Statelessness Conventions by Austria. The Court denies direct applicability of the Statelessness Conventions in Austria, and rules against the applicant. 

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

The applicant is of Roma ethnic origin, with parents from former Yugoslavia, who was born, grew up, and worked his whole life in Austria. He has had a permanent residence permit until 1995, when the latter was withdrawn due to applicant's criminal convictions. The Court found the applicant to be stateless, and determined that expulsion of a stateless person without a former country of habitual residence amounts to violation of Article 3 ECHR. 

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

Applicant was born on the territory of what is now Kosovo, and is of Roma origin. He was unable to access Kosovar nationality due to discrimination against Roma, and he was not accepted by the Kosovar authorities when France attempted to expel him. His application for stateless status was rejected by OFPRA, as he did not demonstrate having made sufficient efforts to obtain Kosovar or Serbian nationality, and this decision was upheld by the Court. 

Court name: High Court of Justice (Administrative Court)
Date of decision:

The Claimant was a British Overseas citizen and had renounced his Malaysian citizenship in 2006 on the basis of legal advice that this was necessary for him to obtain indefinite leave to remain in the UK, but was refused leave to remain. In 2017, after being refused leave to remain in the UK as a stateless person under paragraph 403 of the Immigration Rules, the Claimant sought judicial review of this decision. The Court confirmed that a BOC who is not a national of any other State is a stateless person for the purpose of paragraph 403(b) of the Immigration Rules, however the Claimant failed to show that he is not admissible to Malaysia or to any other country.

Court name: Court of Appeal The Hague
Date of decision:

After twice being denied a residence permit, the applicant initiated civil proceedings against the Dutch state to obtain a declaratory judgment that the applicant is stateless. The District Court of The Hague considers, citing three cases from the European Court of Human Rights, that the determination of statelessness is not a fundamental right under art. 8 ECHR and there is no obligation for the country of residence to determine whether someone is stateless, if foreign authorities (such as the country of origin) refuse to grant nationality or acknowledge the applicant as a citizen. If fundamental rights can be safeguarded through a different procedure, there is no violation of art. 8 ECHR. 

Court name: Court of Cassation
State: Belgium
Date of decision:
Key aspects: Residence permit

The Court of Cassation clarified that the fact that judges should refuse to apply the existing regulations because these violate the principle of equal treatment, does not have as a consequence that stateless persons automatically fall under the category of aliens authorised to stay on the territory by law, or are automatically equated to a recognised refugee. They still need to be granted leave to remain.

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

The Court of Cassation held that judges are obliged to remedy every legislative gap that has been found unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court. By refusing to grant a right of residence to a recognised stateless person without investigating whether he had involuntarily lost his nationality, and if he had demonstrated that he could not obtain a durable residence permit in another state with which he has ties, the Court of Appeal of Liège violated articles 10 and 11 of the Constitution.

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

The refusal to grant family allowance to a recognised stateless person because of the lack of a residence permit amounts to discrimination between stateless persons and refugees. Such difference of treatment arises from a legislative gap that had been identified in an earlier judgement and not filled yet by the legislator.

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.