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

The applicant asked to be granted the status as a stateless person in France, however both the OFPRA (French bureau for the protection of refugees and stateless persons) and the Courts denied him this status on the grounds that he did not take sufficient steps to request nationality from the Armenian authorities. He also argued that people from Azerbaijan face discrimination and are often refused Russian nationality, even when they may be able to benefit from it. The Court concluded that no discrimination exists and the applicant failed to take steps to obtain Russian nationality.  

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: European Court of Human Rights
State: France
Date of decision:

The applicant, a Moroccan national who acquired French nationality, was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment in 2013 for involvement in a conspiracy to carry out terrorist acts in France and other countries. He was deprived of his French nationality and was served with an expulsion order: despite requesting an interim measure under grounds of Article 3 ECHR he was returned to Morocco.

The applicant claimed, inter alia, that his removal violated his rights under Article 3 ECHR due to the risk that he would be exposed to ill-treatment in the event of his return and that his removal in breach of the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) interim measure violated Article 34 ECHR.

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

Five applicants of dual nationality, convicted in 2007 of participating in a criminal association in a terrorist context, were stripped of their French nationality in October 2015 by Prime Minister decrees. The Court held that the decision to forfeit the applicants’ French nationality did not have a disproportionate impact on their private lives and therefore was not in violation of Article 8 of the Convention.

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

The applicant was born in Kosovo and arrived to France irregularly in 2009. Her application for a statelessness status was rejected because OFPRA considered both Kosovo and Serbia to be potential countries of the applicant's nationality, and have rejected the applicant's arguments that as a member of Roma community she was subject to discrimination and would not be able to access those nationalities. 

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

The applicant was born in Azerbaijan to Armenian parents. In the course of his asylum application he claims to have lived in Russia and served in the Russian army before arriving in France. His asylum application was rejected, as well as his statelessness application - as according to the information he provided in his asylum application he would have automatically acquired Russian nationality in the context of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. 

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

The applicant was born in Azerbaijan to an Armenian father and an Azeri mother, and subsequently lived in Russia and Belarus before arriving in France. His stateless status application was rejected as he did not demonstrate having made repeated and diligent attempts at getting recognised as a national by Russia, Armenia or Azerbaijan. The Court upheld the administrative decision. 

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

The applicant was born in Italy to parents born in former Yugoslavia. His stateless status was denied on the basis that he did not make enough efforts to be recognised as a national of either Italy, Croatia or Macedonia. 

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: Paris Administrative Court of Appeal
State: France
Date of decision:

The applicant lost her Khazakh nationality by operation of law due to not having registered with Khazakh consular authorities within 3 years of her departure. In these three years she had an asylum claim pending in France, and therefore could not have been expected to contact Khazakh authorities. OFPRA rejected her application for stateless status as she did not demonstrate to have made sufficient efforts to regain her Khazakh nationality. 

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: Lyon Administrative Court of Appeal
State: France
Date of decision:

The applicant claimed to have been born in Kuwait to parents of Palestinian origin. OFPRA denied him stateless status on the basis that neither his Palestinian origin nor his place of birth being Kuwait could be confirmed, and the Court upheld this administrative decision. The Court also ruled that Palestinians who are outside of the UNRWA territory are in principle not excluded from protection under the 1954 Convention. 

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: Court of Cassation, Civil Chamber
State: France
Date of decision:

The applicant was born in Madagascar and considered himself a French national, as he held French identity documents. However, his registration of French nationality was refused in 2005. He requested to be recognised as a French national, and submitted a number of arguments, among which his statelessness that would result from the refusal to recognise him as French. The Court dismisses his entitlement to French nationality.

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

The applicant belongs to Biharie minority in Bangladesh, and applied for the recognition of his statelessness in France, submitting additional documentary evidence that access to Bangladeshi nationality is restricted for him. The Court could not make sense of all the documents submitted, and requested both the applicant and OFPRA to submit additional information and observations regarding the nature of the documents and the circumstances in which they were issued.

Court name: Versailles Administrative Court
State: France
Date of decision:

Applicants, both originally from Kazakhstan, appealed the rejection of their statelessness status. They had a document from the Kazakhstan embassy indicating they were no longer nationals, but OFPRA considered they needed to attempt to re-acquire the Kazakh nationality before benefiting from the statelessness status in France, and that the applicants' previous unsuccessful attempts to seek asylum are not an obstacle in attempting to reacquire their former nationality. The Court sided with OFPRA and confirmed the rejection of the statelessness status. 

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: 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