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

The applicant had renounced his Bosnian-Herzegovinian citizenship after having received an assurance that he would obtain Croatian citizenship, and became stateless. However, Croatia subsequently refused his citizenship application on national security grounds, without providing the reasons for this decision. He was issued an expulsion order and his permanent residence was terminated. While the applicant was in immigration detention, his Bosnian-Herzegovinian citizenship was restored and he left Croatia voluntarily. The Court found that the limitation in the applicant’s procedural rights in his expulsion proceedings had not protected him against arbitrariness, and found a violation of Article 1 of Protocol n. 7. The remaining complaints were either found inadmissible or were not examined by the Court.

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

The applicant is a stateless person of Palestinian origin who was born in a refugee camp in Lebanon. He applied for protection in the UK on several grounds, including that he was at risk of harm in breach of Article 3 ECHR because of attempts to recruit him to extremist armed factions in the camp, but his application was rejected. The ECtHR accepted that there was no risk in case of return to Lebanon, and found no information supporting the applicant’s argument in a EUAA (former EASO) report regarding the recruitment of young Palestinians in refugee camps in Lebanon. The Court found no violation of Article 3 ECHR.

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

The Court found a violation of Article 8, in a groundbreaking case regarding children’s right to a birth certificate. The applicant was born in Mexico and repatriated to Spain after an earthquake. Despite his mother’s attempts, his birth was not registered upon arrival in Spain as the necessary documentation had been destroyed by the earthquake in Mexico, and he was issued with an ID card only at 21. The Court found that, upon becoming aware of the situation, Spanish authorities were under a positive obligation to assist the applicant in obtaining documentation and the failure to do so resulted in a violation of Article 8 ECHR.

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

The applicant is a dual Danish and Algerian national who has been deprived of his Danish nationality and deported from Denmark with a permanent re-entry ban for joining the Islamic State. The applicant claimed a violation of Article 8 ECHR, but the Court found that the Danish decision was not arbitrary. 

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

The applicants are the twin children of an Israeli same-sex couple, born through surrogacy i nthe United States. The case concerns the non-recognition of paternity of the applicants for civil registry and nationality purposes in Poland, whose legal system does not recognise surrogacy. In analysing the applications lodged against Poland regarding the right to respect for private and family life (Article 8) and the prohibition of discrimination (Article 14), the Court considered that given the children lived with one biological and one non-biological parent in Israel, had access to fundamental rights there and held dual nationality, Article 8 was not applicable, and hence Article 14 did not apply in conjunction with Article 8 either. Thus, the applications were inadmissible.

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

The case concerns the refusal of Serbia for seven years to grant a travel document to the applicant, a Syrian national who had been granted refugee status in Serbia and whose passport expired. This was due to a failure by the Ministry of the Interior to enact regulations that govern the content and design of travel documents for refugees to implement the Asylum Act, which prevented the applicant from travelling outside Serbia for several years. Finding that this refusal curtailed the applicant’s right to leave Serbia freely, to the extent that it impaired the essence of this right and deprived it of its effectiveness, the Court found a violation of Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 ECHR.

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

The Italian authorities refused to transcribe the applicant's Ukrainian birth certificate, either in full or in part. The applicant, who was born through gestational surrogacy in Ukraine, was consequently denied a legal parent-child relationship with her intended parents under Italian law, as well as any nationality. The Court ruled that the Italian authorities' refusal to transcribe the birth certificate, even in part, prevented the establishment of a legal parent-child relationship between the applicant and her biological father, which was in contradiction with Article 8 ECHR.

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

The authorities in Azerbaijan terminated the nationality of an independent journalist and chairman of an NGO for the protection of journalists, rendering him stateless. The Court found that such measure had been arbitrary and in violation of Article 8 ECHR, given that it rendered the applicant stateless, in disregard for the 1961 Convention, and was not accompanied by due procedural safeguards. In the particular circumstances of the case, for the purposes of examining the arbitrariness of the decision terminating the applicant’s nationality, the Court did not consider it necessary to establish whether the applicant’s renunciation of his nationality was forced or voluntary, which was a matter in dispute between the parties.

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

Switzerland refused to issue a residence permit to an elderly foreign national from Iran, who had been living in the country for over 50 years and cited strong family and social ties in Switzerland. The applicant was residing unlawfully because a deportation decision issued against him had not been enforced due to the lack of an Iranian passport. The Court found that Switzerland breached its positive obligation under Article 8 ECHR to regularise a foreigner who was unlawfully present, and found that a fair balance had not been struck between the public interest and his right to respect for private life.

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

The applicant is a stateless Palestinian and unaccompanied minor who was granted asylum in Greece in 2016 together with his father and slibings. Due to neglect by the father, the applicant and his siblings were placed in care and the prosecutor decided it was in their best intersts to return to the Occupied Palestinian Territory to reunite them with their mother. The application concerns the decision to return him to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which the children were opposed to, the reception conditions in Greece, and the failure to appoint a guardian. The Court decided to strike the application as inadmissible as the applicant was no longer at risk of being returned to the Occupied Palestinian Territory when the decision was revoked by the authorities.

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

The applicant is a permanent resident who was previously granted subsidiary protection after fleeing his country of origin. Lithuanian authorities refused to issue a travel document to the applicant on the grounds that the applicant could request such a document from the authorities of his country of origin. The Court held that there had been a violation under Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 of the Convention. 

Court name: European Court of Human Rights
Date of decision:
Key aspects: Detention

The applicants were detained in Russia in view of their expulsion respectively to Ukraine and Georgia. They claimed to be stateless but the Russian authorities did not properly assess whether the removal remained a ‘realistic prospect’ throughout detention, thus the Court found a breach of Article 5 ECHR. 

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

This case concerns the initial refusal of the Italian authorities to recognise the applicant, a stateless person of Slovenian origin, as stateless. He complained this refusal resulted in him being unable to regularise his stay in Italy and constitutes a breach of Article 8 of the ECHR. The applicant also complained under Article 14 of the ECHR, citing discrimination in access to Italian nationality and under Article 13 due to the lack of an effective domestic remedy. The Court declared his application inadmissible, as it found that the applicant was no longer a victim of a violation because, after the application was submitted, an Italian court recognised his statelessness status in 2013.

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

The applicant claimed that Finland violated Articles 8 and 14 ECHR when Finnish authorities allegedly arbitrarily denied him Finnish nationality, despite statements issued by the Russian authorities on his nationality status and the fact that he did not acquire Russian nationality at birth, contrary to the decision of the Finnish authorities based on their interpretation of Russian nationality law. The Court found the application manifestly ill-founded and therefore inadmissible, and held that the Russian authorities’ statements on the applicant’s nationality status, while ambiguous, could imply that he had acquired Russian nationality at the time of his birth.

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

The applicants, a mother and daughter, are of Russian origin and lived in Latvia. They were deported from Latvia and detained in the process. The husband and father of the applicants was a retired Soviet officer, ordered to leave Latvia together with his family in accordance with the Latvian-Russian treaty on the withdrawal of Russian troops following Latvian independence. The Court found that ordering the applicants’ deportation failed to consider their individual circumstances and the private life they had built in Latvia and violated their Article 8 right to respect for private life.

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

The case concerns the refusal to grant legal recognition in France to parent-child relationships that had been legally established in the United States for a child born as a result of surrogacy arrangement. The French authorities refused to transcribe the birth certificate of the child into the French civil status registry on the grounds that it would be contrary to public order. The three applicants complained that the refusal to acknowledge the filiation of the parents and child applicant under French law violated Article 8 ECHR. The European Court of Human Rights found that France violated the child's right to respect for her private life in breach of Article 8 ECHR.

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

This case concerns the refusal of the Azerbaijani authorities to issue the applicant, who is of Azerbaijani ethnicity, lives in Azerbaijan and was born in Georgia, with an identity card, thereby denying him Azerbaijani citizenship. The applicant complained that this decision by the authorities was in breach of Article 8 of the ECHR. The Court found that the denial of Azerbaijani citizenship to the applicant had considerable adverse consequences for his enjoyment of various rights. It was not accompanied by the necessary procedural safeguards and must be considered arbitrary.

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

The case concerns two Swiss nationals in a registered same-sex partnership, who had a child in the United States through a surrogacy agreement. A US court had named both parents as the child’s legal parents, but Switzerland only recognised the parent-child relationship of the genetic father and not the intended father. The intended father was unable to adopt the legally-recognised child of his registered partner as this option was, until January 2018, only open to married (heterosexual) couples. The Court found a violation of the child's right to respect for private and family life (Article 8 ECHR).

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

Azerbaijani authorities refused to issue an identity card to children born in Azerbaijan to foreign parents, thereby denying them Azerbaijani nationality (as domestic law applicable at the time applied the jus soli principle). The Court held that the refusal by the national authorities to deliver an identity card to the children is tantamount to a refusal to recognise their Azerbaijani nationality. This had considerable negative consequences for the children and therefore constituted an interference with their right to a private life in violation of Article 8 ECHR. It further found that the necessary procedural guarantees were not in place and that the decision was arbitrary.

Court name: European Court of Human Rights
State: France
Date of decision:
Key aspects: Detention, Protection

This case concerns the repatriation of the applicants’ daughters and grandchildren, French nationals, who were being held in camps in north-eastern Syria after leaving France to join Daesh/ISIS. The applicants alleged that the refusal by France to repatriate their kin exposed those family members to inhuman and degrading treatment prohibited by Article 3 of the Convention and breached their right to enter the territory of the State of which they were nationals as guaranteed by Article 3(2) of Protocol No. 4. The Court dismissed the complaint under Article 3 but found the complaint under Article 3(2) of Protocol No. 4 admissible.

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

This case concerns the difference in treatment between citizens of Latvia and ‘permanently resident non-citizens’ of Latvia with regard to the calculation of their pension rights. For the latter group, employment periods accrued outside of Latvia prior to 1991 in other parts of the USSR are excluded from the calculation. The Court found that direct difference in treatment on the grounds of nationality in pensions does not violate the ECHR, as when determining that difference in treatment, Latvia pursued a legitimate aim and this measure was proportionate to that aim. It noted that applicants decided not to naturalise in Latvia, where they resided. The Court also found that the assessment of whether the difference in treatment is justified by 'very weighty reasons' (test applied where there is a direct different of treatment on the sole ground of nationality) must be carried out considering the wide margin of appreciation in this case.

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

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.

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

The applicant was born in the Russian Federation and his birth was not duly registered. Lacking identity documents and unable to prove his nationality, he was detained in Ukraine for the purpose of expulsion. The Court held that the authorities did not act diligently when they waited almost eleven months to contact the Russian embassy and obtain documentation to evidence the applicant's Russian nationality, and failed to review the lawfulness of his detention and to provide an effective remedy, in violation of Articles 5(1), (4) and (5) ECHR.

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

A stateless person faced protracted difficulties in regularising his legal situation, and was recognised as stateless only after residing in Hungary for 15 years. During 13 of those years, the applicant had no legal status in Hungary and was entitled to neither healthcare nor employment, nor was he able to marry. The Court held that Hungary had not complied with its positive obligation to provide an effective and accessible procedure enabling the applicant to have his status in Hungary determined with due regard to his private-life interests under Article 8 ECHR.

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

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.