United Kingdom - ML (Morocco), R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 2177 (Admin)
The claimant, born in a refugee camp in Western Sahara, asserted he is a stateless person within the meaning of article 1(a) of the 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons (although he never made a formal statelessness application) and alleged that he was unlawfully detained under immigration powers, pending deportation. The Secretary of State attempted to obtain an emergency travel document for the claimant from various foreign authorities, yet delays were encountered. The claimant was detained throughout but it was held that the Secretary of State was acting with reasonable diligence, the decision to detain the claimant was not unlawful considering the circumstances and there was a reasonable prospect of removal during the period of detention. The claimant was a persistent absconder with multiple convictions, had been assessed as posing a high risk of harm to the public, and these factors weighed against him when assessing what was a reasonable period of detention.
The case concerned the removal of the applicant, a stateless Palestinian individual who had been habitually resident in Syria and present in the United Kingdom since 2007, to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). It was held by the – that the PNA could be considered as a safe third country despite it not being formally recognised as a state. It was also held that the Directive 2011/95/EU on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection (the Qualification Directive), and for the content of the protection granted could not be interpreted as guaranteeing a resident permit to all those in receipt of subsidiary protection.
The applicant was born in Iraq and formerly possessed Iraqi identity documents. After establishing permanent legal residence in Austria he applied for a travel document for foreigners on the basis that he has an "unclear nationality" status. The application was rejected without granting the applicant the right to an oral hearing. The Constitutional Court upheld the applicant's right to have an opportunity to explain his allegedly unclear nationality status in an oral hearing.
The applicant originates from Somalia and arrived to the Netherlands through Yemen as an unaccompanied minor. When testifying for his asylum application, he omitted to mention that he had lived in Yemen. He was granted a residence permit which later lead to his naturalisation, but the latter was withdrawn nearly 12 years later as the authorities found out about his history in Yemen. He argued that the denaturalisation is disproportionate in light of the CJEU Rottmann judgment, citing statelessness as one of the circumstances, and the court upheld his position.
The applicant is the mother of a stateless child born in the Netherlands, who applied for confirmation of Dutch nationality for her son. The application was rejected as the municipality neither considered it established that the child is stateless, nor that he has fulfilled the legal residence requirement. The applicant claimed that denial of confirmation of nationality for her son constitutes violations of article 8 ECHR, article 7 CRC and article 24 ICCPR, but those arguments failed in Court. The Court mentions the plans of the Dutch government to introduce a statelessness determination procedure.
The applicant naturalised in the Netherlands in 2003, but the naturalisation was withdrawn in 2013 when the authorities found out she had a criminal conviction in Belgium in 2000 that she failed to mention in her naturalisation application. The applicant argued that the decision depriving her of her Dutch nationality is disproportionate, among others in light of EU law and Rottmann judgment, in particular due to her becoming stateless as a result, and the difficulties she may face re-acquiring her original Ghanaian nationality. The Court rejected the appeal and upheld the decision denaturalising the applicant.
A stateless applicant born in Bhutan and previously resident in India was refused asylum in Ireland by the Refugee Appeals Tribunal. The Tribunal stated that according to the 1951 Refugee Convention, statelessness per se, does not give rise to a claim to refugee status. The High Court held that, for the purposes of refugee status determination, the applicant does not have to prove that he was persecuted in all countries of former habitual residence. The applicant must demonstrate that one country was guilty of persecution, and that he is unable or unwilling to return to any of the states where he formerly habitually resided.
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.
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.
Applicant was born in Macedonia and lived in the Netherlands for 38 years. His path to naturalisation was inhibited by the registration of his nationality status as "unknown" in the municipal records, which he requested to change to "stateless", arguing that he has never acquired the Macedonian nationality. The Council of State sided with the municipality that denied the request, maintaining that it has not been "irrefutably established" that the applicant is not a Macedonian national. The judgment refers to the Dutch legislative initiative on the statelessness determination, implying that it is needed, and that the municipal registry is not a statelessness determination procedure.
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.
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.
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.
An Egyptian national, who resided in Malta and acquired Maltese nationality, was granted authorisation to renounce his Egyptian nationality as he could not hold dual nationality while in Malta. He was deprived of his Maltese nationality years later, following a decision that found that he had obtained his Maltese nationality from his first marriage through fraud. The Court found that there was no violation of Article 8 and held that the decision to deprive the applicant of his Maltese nationality did not adversely affect him.