Court name: European Court of Human Rights
Date of decision:
Legal instruments: European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), European Union law, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
Key aspects: Acquisition of nationality, Discrimination, Stateless status and documentation, Statelessness determination
The appellant is a former USSR national, living in Latvia. The case is concerned with whether Latvia’s refusal of citizenship to a person who had criticised the Government, constituted a punitive measure in violation of that individual’s rights to freedom of expression under Article 10 and freedom of assembly and association under Article 11. The Court found no violation of articles 10 and 11 as the denial of citizenship did not affect the appellant’s relevant rights. Contrary, it highlighted that there is no “right to a nationality” under the Convention, and no provision of Latvian law indicates the appellant’s right to Latvian citizenship.