Court name: Cour administrative d’appel de Paris
State: France
Date of decision:

A Palestinian refugee was living in Lebanon and benefited from the protection of UNRWA before leaving for France and applying for statelessness status in France. After the Conseil d’État quashed a decision granting the applicant statelessness status and referred the case back to the Administrative Court of Appeal, the Court found that the applicant still benefitted from effective protection from UNRWA, as she did not fall under any of the conditions identified by the Conseil d’État in which a Palestinian refugee who is outside UNRWA’s area of operation must be considered as no longer effectively benefiting from UNRWA’s protection.

Court name: Court of Justice of the European Union
State:
Date of decision:

The case concerned the interpretation of Article 19 of the Directive (2011/95/EU, Qualification Directive). Specifically, the applicant had been granted subsidiary protection by the Austrian authorities on the mistaken basis that he was an Algerian national. The applicant was not responsible for the mistake, having rather declared throughout the proceedings that he was stateless. The CJEU held that under the Qualification Directive a State is under the obligation to revoke subsidiary protection if information emerges to prove that an individual never satisfied the requirements under the Directive.

Court name: Administrative Court of Appeal of Nantes
State: France
Date of decision:

The applicant is from Western Sahara and identifies as a Sahrawi, a territory occupied by Morocco. Having fled to France, he  argued that he should qualify as a stateless person even though his birth certificate indicates that he has Moroccan nationality. He argued that this matter should be referred to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling. 

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

A stateless person faced protracted difficulties in regularising his legal situation, and was recognised as stateless only after residing in Hungary for 15 years. During 13 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 ECHR.

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

A Palestinian refugee was living in Lebanon and benefited from the protection of UNRWA, before moving to and applying for statelessness status in France. The Conseil d’Etat quashed a decision to grant the applicant statelessness status because it did not mention whether the applicant no longer continued to benefit from UNRWA's effective protection. The Conseil d'Etat ruled on the conditions of eligibility of Palestinian refugees for statelessness status and identified three hypothesis in which a Palestinian refugee who is outside UNRWA's area of activity must be considered as no longer effectively benefiting from the protection or assistance of this agency.

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: 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: Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione)
State: Italy
Date of decision:

The appellant requested that the decision of the Court of Appeal be overturned, and her stateless status be recognised.  The appeal raises two points of principle: first, the burden of proof applicable to the determination of whether a person qualifies for stateless status as defined in the 1954 Convention; and secondly, the consideration of stateless persons as a particular category of foreigners comparable to beneficiaries of international protection. The court recognised the stateless status of the applicant and overruled the decision of the Court of Appeal.

Court name: Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo)
State: Spain
Date of decision:

The applicant, a statelessness individual originally from Iran, is subject to a deportation order as a result of the commission of a criminal offence in Spain. The Spanish Supreme Court establishes that a criminal conviction is not sufficient to expel a stateless person on grounds of national security and revokes his deportation.

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: Court of Cassation
State: Italy
Date of decision:

The Supreme Court decision laid down the principle according to which the statelessness determination procedure requires evidence of: (i) the lack of nationality of the State with which the person has significant connections and (ii) the legal or factual impossibility of obtaining the nationality of that State.

Court name: Federal Fiscal Court
State: Germany
Date of decision:

The Federal Fiscal Court decided that on a case in which a stateless person applied for child benefits from the German government. The Court held that neither Art. 24 nor Art. 29 of the 1954 Statelessness Convention provide for a right to claim child benefit and that this ruling is not unconstitutional.

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: 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: Court of Appeal
Date of decision:

The appellant requested the revocation of a deportation order on the grounds that he was stateless. The appeal raises two points of principle: first, the standard of proof applicable to the determination of whether a person qualifies for the status of a stateless person as defined in the 1954 Convention; and secondly, the relevance of a finding that a person is stateless for the purposes of revocation of a deportation order. The court determined that a person claiming to be stateless must provide evidence satisfying the standard of balance of probabilities.

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

The case originated in an application against Bulgaria lodged by a stateless person of Palestinian origin. He had obtained subsidiary protection in Bulgaria, but was later served an expulsion order on national security grounds, detained for removal for 18 months and then released due to the impossibility of implementing the expulsion order. The Court reiterates that States have an obligation to identify a destination country in removal orders, stating that “In cases of aliens detained with a view to deportation, lack of clarity as to the destination country could hamper effective control of the authorities’ diligence in handling the deportation”. The Court held that detention with an uncertain destination is violates Articles 3, 5, and 13 ECHR.