In a case concerning a Dutch national associated with ISIS, the Council of State ruled that the decisions from the Dutch authorities to declare the applicant undesirable and to withdraw her Dutch nationality should be annulled on the grounds that they did not sufficiently take into consideration the best interests of her minor children and her right to family life.
The Applicant was born in Uzbekistan in 1974 and obtained Russian citizenship in 2005. In 2017, he was convicted of an extremist crime for organisation of an extremist religious community (Nur movement) branch in the city of Blagoveshchensk and sentenced to imprisonment. In January 2019, his Russian citizenship was removed because of the conviction. After being released from prison in April 2019, the Applicant did not have any identification documents except for certificate of release, as his Russian passport was withheld. He did not have a chance to acquire any other documents to legalise his stay in Russia or leave the country, since he was arrested and placed in the migration detention centre five minutes after his release from the prison. As a result, Russian state court of civil jurisdiction declared the Applicant guilty of an administrative offence for violation of rules of stay in the Russian Federation under Article 18.8 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation ("CAO") and prescribed a punishment in the form of penalty and administrative expulsion from the Russian territory.
Russian authorities contacted Uzbekistan to expel him there, however Uzbekistan did not agree to accept the Applicant. As a result, the Applicant remained in custody for about two years, since Russian law does not have provisions granting stateless individuals the right to challenge their detention nor requiring the courts to determine its duration when ordering the detention. Following unsuccessful challenges of his detention in the Russian state courts of civil jurisdiction, the Applicant filed a complaint with the Russian Constitutional Court challenging the constitutionality of the relevant legal provisions. The Constitutional Court dismissed the appeal finding all the challenged provisions were constitutional because its earlier judgment No. 14-P/2017 of 25 May 2017 already provided stateless individuals a right to challenge their further detention three months after the date of the decision to detain and expel them. The Constitutional Court also contacted Uzbekistan authorities again and they finally agreed to receive the Applicant in Uzbekistan.
United Kingdom - R (on the application of D4) (Notice of deprivation of citizenship) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
A dual British and Pakistani national who was detained in a camp in Syria was deprived of her British nationality in December 2019 on the grounds that this would be conducive to the public good. A copy of the notice of the deprivation was placed on the applicant's file but was not communicated to her at this time. Under regulations made under the British Nationality Act 1981, this was considered to constitute notice. The deprivation of citizenship was only communicated to the applicant when her lawyers contacted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in September 2020 to ask for assistance with the applicant’s repatriation and were later informed of this decision by the Home Office in October 2020. The applicant applied for judicial review, claiming that the domestic regulation in question and the deprivation decision had no legal effect. The Court of Appeal dismissed the Secretary of State appeal against the High Court decision finding in the applicant's favour. The judgment is currently under appeal before the Supreme Court.
Two of the applicants, E3 and N3, were deprived of their British citizenship by the defendant, the Secretary of State for the Home Department. Following the determination of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (“SIAC”) in similar cases, the defendant withdrew her deprivation decisions against the applicants, whose citizenship was reinstated.
During the period of deprivation, the third applicant, ZA, who is the daughter of one of the applicants, was born. The applicants claimed that ZA should be automatically entitled to British citizenship. The court held that the child of a British citizen born during a period in which her father had been deprived of his citizenship (which was later reinstated), was not automatically British at birth, as the decision to reinstate the father’s citizenship did not have retroactive effect.
This appeal to the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber concerns the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s (hereinafter SSHD) decision to deprive the appellant of his British citizenship. The Upper Tribunal addressed the issue of whether Article 8(1) of the ECHR was engaged and whether the SSDH discretionary decision under section 40(2) or (3) to deprive the individual of his or her British citizenship was exercised correctly. The grounds for judicial review is that the delay in acting on the appellant’s fraud reduces the public interest in deprivation and is a disproportionate interference with Article 8 ECHR.
The case concerns Danish authorities’ decisions to deprive a dual national of his Danish citizenship and to deport him, following conviction for receiving training with ISIS. This was found to be compliant with Article 8 ECHR. The Court reasoned that deprivation of nationality was not arbitrary, that there had been sufficient opportunities to appeal, and that the crime in question, terrorism, was a serious one that endangered human rights. The punishment of deprivation of nationality was found to be proportionate. The Court also found that deprivation of nationality in this instance did not result in impermissible consequences as it did not render the applicant stateless.
This appeal arose from decisions of first and second respondents to refuse the appellant’s application for an Irish passport on the basis that he is not an Irish citizen. The appellant’s passport application was on grounds of automatic birth right citizenship derived through the residence of his father, an Afghan national, who gave false information on his initial refugee application in the State. The Court of Appeal had decided in favour of the Minister, holding that a declaration of refugee status which is revoked on the basis that the applicant had provided false and misleading information leads to the declaration being void ab initio.
The Supreme Court allowing the appeal, held that while a refugee declaration is ‘‘in force’’ and until such time as it is revoked, it must be regarded as being valid. This was based on the fact that the Minister for Justice has a discretion as to whether or not to revoke and is only required to do so when it is considered appropriate. This discretion would have enabled the Minister for Justice in an appropriate case to consider the effect of a decision to revoke on those who obtained derivative rights prior to revocation. The Court held that residence status conferred by the State on a parent based on false or misleading information could be included for the calculation of the period required to confer an entitlement of citizenship on the appellant.
Article 25 of the French Civil Code provides that an individual may be stripped of their French nationality where, inter alia, it was acquired by naturalization and where the individual has been convicted of a crime that constituted an attack on the fundamental interests of France or an act of terrorism. Deprivation of French nationality is not allowed where it would render the individual stateless. The applicant was deprived of his French nationality, which he had acquired by naturalization, following a decision of the Paris Criminal Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris) convicting him for his participation in an association of criminals with a view to preparing an act of terrorism. That court found that he had joined a terrorist group and participated in training and armed operations of that group. The Council of State (Conseil d’État) upheld the decree of deprivation of nationality because the applicant held Algerian nationality since birth and could not be deprived of it since the Algerian code of nationality only authorises the deprivation of nationality for persons who have acquired it after birth. Therefore, the loss of French nationality would not render him stateless and was thus not illegal under French law. The Council of State also ruled on the proportionality of the decree with regard to the European Convention on Human Rights and found that, given the seriousness of the crimes committed by the applicant, the challenged decree did not disproportionately infringe the right to respect for his private life guaranteed by Article 8 of the ECHR.
The claimant is a stateless person whose Romanian nationality was withdrawn by the National Citizenship Authority (“Autoritatea Nationala a Cetateniei”) on the grounds that he is known to have links with terrorist groups or has supported, in any form, or has committed other acts that endanger national security. Romania law provides that in such cases, the order issued by the National Citizenship Authority can be appealed in court, and the decision issued by this court is final and irrevocable. The claimant raises an objection of unconstitutionality with regard to this law, because it violates the principle of the double degree of jurisdiction provided for in the EU law in criminal matters, assimilating the matter in question with a criminal matter as defined by the EU law.
The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) allowed an appeal against the Secretary of State’s decision to deprive C3, C4 and C7 of their British citizenship, and found that the decision to deprive C3, C4 and C7 of their citizenship breached s.40(4) of the British Nationality Act 1981, as it would render the appellants stateless. On the date of the deprivation decision, it was found that C3, C4 and C7 did not have Bangladeshi citizenship under the law of Bangladesh and the Secretary of State therefore could not deprive them of their British citizenship.
The case concerned the decision to deprive the appellant of his British citizenship on the basis that he had exercised deception in relation to his identity when he first applied for asylum. The court considered the application of the discretion by the Home Office (hereafter the respondent) and the impact the decision would have on appellant’s family, in particular his minor child. The court dismissed the appeal on the basis that the errors of law identified were not sufficient to affect the outcome of the decision.
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Karelia requested to review the constitutionality of Article 22(2) of the Federal Law On Russian Citizenship ('Citizenship Law'), which established that the fact that a person had been confirmed by a court to have committed or prepared to commit one of the offences in the established list of offences related to terrorist activities, was equivalent to the fact that such person had knowingly given false information about their intention to comply with the Constitution of the Russian Federation when when applying for the Russian nationality, which constitutes a ground to revoke their nationality.
The applicant argued that the provision of Article 22(2) of the Citizenship Law might be unconstitutional to the extent it allows a person to be stripped of their citizenship where such person had been convicted under “terrorism” charges before this provision entered into legal force. The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation confirmed the constitutionality of this provision by ruling that it does not introduce new rules but only clarifies the already existing ones, and that it does not establish any liability measures. Consequently, Article 22(2) of the Citizenship Law is not subject to the prohibition of retroactive effect of the provisions establishing or aggravating liability set out by the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
The case concerns the deprivation of Ms Begum’s British citizenship and whether the subsequent decision of the Home Office not to allow her to enter the United Kingdom in order to appeal the revocation of her citizenship in person was unlawful. Ms Begum had been stripped of her citizenship for reasons of national security after she ran from home as a teenager to marry an ISIL fighter in Syria. She then commenced three sets of proceedings in order to appeal the deprivation decision, which the Court dismissed.
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.
The applicant challenged a decision depriving him of his British citizenship and excluding him from the United Kingdom because of his alleged involvement and link to terrorist-related activities. After failing in his appeals to the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Special Immigration Appeal Tribunal, the applicant complained to the European Court of Human Rights (‘the Court’) under Articles 8 and 14. The Court rejected all of the applicant’s complaints, finding them to be manifestly ill-founded, and declared the application inadmissible.
After discovering that the applicant had omitted information when applying for Russian nationality, his nationality was annulled and an entry ban was enforced. The Court applied a two-pronged approach to assess whether the deprivation of the applicant’s nationality was an interference with his right to private and family life, which assessed (i) the consequences for the applicant, and (ii) whether the measure was arbitrary. In light of the far-reaching consequences of this decision and its apparent arbitrary nature, the Court held that the annulment interfered with the applicant's rights guaranteed under Article 8 ECHR. Further, the Court found that the expulsion of the applicant from Russian territory failed to respect the principle of proportionality, given the lack of evidence of any threat to Russian national security posed by the applicant, thereby violating Article 8.
An Austrian national by birth transferred his residence to Germany and naturalised as a German national. The naturalisation in Germany had the effect, in accordance with Austrian law, of causing him to lose his Austrian nationality. The German authorities later withdrew the naturalisation with retroactive effect, on the grounds that the applicant had not disclosed that he was the subject of a criminal investigation in Austria on account of suspected serious fraud, and that he had thus obtained German nationality by deception. The Court held that it is not contrary to EU law for a Member State to withdraw nationality obtained by deception, even if it results in losing EU citizenship, so long as the decision observes the principle of proportionality. Observance of the principle of proportionality requires the person concerned to be afforded a reasonable period of time in order to try to recover the nationality of their Member State of origin.
The applicant is a dual Dutch/Moroccan national whose Dutch nationality was withdrawn on the basis of a criminal conviction for terrorist activities. The Court rejected the applicant's appeal, concluding, among others, that prevention of statelessness is a valid reason for differentiated treatment between those with a single and with multiple nationalities, and that withdrawal of nationality is not a punitive measure. Withdrawal of nationality in addition to the criminal sentence does not violate the principle that prohibits repeated punishments for the same action.
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.
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.
The applicant brought an appeal challenging the constitutionality of s.19 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, which governs the procedure by which revocation of naturalisation is determined. The fact that the Minister initiated the revocation process, appointed the committee charged with conducting the inquiry and then reached the final decision, was unconstitutional according to the applicant, as it breached the right to fair procedures. The Court held that s.19 was unconstitutional because it did not provide the procedural safeguards required to meet the high threshold of natural justice applicable to a person facing such severe consequences, i.e. revocation of naturalisation.
The applicant was born in the Soviet Union on the territory of Russia. The facts as to where the applicant lived and when are disputed in the case. In 1999 he was issued a Ukrainian passport, but a court later established that the place and date of birth he indicated were not correct, and his passport was confiscated and destroyed. The authorities argued that the applicant ought to prove he never acquired Russian nationality or alternatively that he renounced his Russian nationality.
The applicant's Ukrainian nationality was withdrawn rendering him stateless, and subsequently a travel ban of 3 years was imposed on him due to a procedural violation of the border crossing rules. The applicant argued that the travel ban is disproportionate, that he enjoys lawful residence in Ukraine, has very close ties with Ukraine, and that the ban interferes with his right to challenge the deprivation of nationality which rendered him stateless in person in court.
The applicant was born in the US, and his birth certificate indicated a Polish national as the father, and an unknown surrogate mother as the mother. Polish authorities refused to confirm the applicant acquired Polish nationality at birth as a child of a Polish parent, because the birth certificate is against the Polish public order, in particular the prohibition of surrogacy. The courts ruled in favour of the applicant, stating that confirmation of his Polish nationality on the basis of the birth certificate does not amount to validation of surrogacy.
The applicant was a Syrian national of Kurdish ethnicity, who unsuccessfully applied for asylum in Switzerland. He subsequently claimed that he has been deprived of Syrian nationality and therefore ought to be recognised as stateless. The State Secretariat for Migration and the Court decided that he did not meet the standard of proof to substantiate his statelessness of 'full proof'.