Two applications (joined before the Court) concerned the removal of and the refusal to exchange passports, leaving the applicants stateless and without identity documentation, after the relevant Russian authorities found their Russian citizenship to be granted erroneously. The Court held the withdrawal of identity documents, which affected the exercise of their rights and freedoms in their daily lives, was a violation of Article 8 of the Convention.
A stateless person of Albanian origin, whose parents had been granted refugee status in the former SFRY, had lived in Croatia for nearly forty years, but his repeated attempts to regularise his residence were largely unsuccessful, apart from short term permits that were granted and withdrawn sporadically. The Court found that Croatia’s failure to comply with its positive obligation to provide an effective and accessible procedure or a combination of procedures enabling the applicant to have the issues of his further stay and status in Croatia determined amounted to a violation of the right to private and family life under Article 8 ECHR. The Court determined that the applicant was stateless and emphasised that statelessness was a relevant factor towards establishing Croatia’s violation of the ECHR.