The applicant was born in an undisclosed Soviet Union Republic and moved to Russia in 1993. He held a temporary resident permit. He was convicted of a drug-related crime and sentenced to eight years in prison. The Ministry of Justice issued a decision on the "undesirability of his stay" in Russia. The Ministry of Internal Affairs followed up with a decision ordering his deportation as the applicant failed to leave Russia within the prescribed deadline. After being released from prison, the applicant was placed in a migration detention centre for 48 hours; this term was repeatedly extended by the court (prior to his eventual release). Russian authorities contacted Armenian and Azerbaijani authorities, both of which refused to grant the applicant entry as he was not a citizen of their respective countries. The applicant challenged both decision of the Ministry of Justice on the undesirability of his stay in Russia and the decision of Ministry of Internal Affairs ordering his deportation. The challenge was dismissed due to lack of legal grounds to declare the disputed decisions illegal.
The appellant, a Rwandan national, was granted refugee status in the UK but was subsequently convicted of a number of offences. The Secretary of State for the Home Department has powers, under the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 to order the deportation of persons convicted of serious offences, which included an offence committed by the appellant. The Secretary of State ordered the appellant’s detention pending deportation and the appellant initially sought judicial review of the deportation order, only to then focus on the lawfulness of the detention. Following the decision in R (Draga) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 842, where the Court of Appeal ruled detention lawful even where based on an unlawful deportation order, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appellant’s substantive appeal. The Supreme Court overturned the decision.
The applicant, a stateless person from Kuwait, filled an application to be granted refugee status in Romania, and, alternatively, any form of protection. The competent authority, the General Inspectorate for Immigration, Asylum and Immigration Department, rejected the request. The applicant challenged this decision in court, but the court confirmed the rejection of his application, considering that the applicant did not meet the criteria provided by Romanian law in order to be granted with refugee status or any other form of subsidiary protection in Romania.
A Palestinian refugee was living in Lebanon and benefited from the protection of UNRWA before leaving for France and applying for statelessness status in France. After the Conseil d’État quashed a decision granting the applicant statelessness status and referred the case back to the Administrative Court of Appeal, the Court found that the applicant still benefitted from effective protection from UNRWA, as she did not fall under any of the conditions identified by the Conseil d’État in which a Palestinian refugee who is outside UNRWA’s area of operation must be considered as no longer effectively benefiting from UNRWA’s protection.
The appellant’s nationality, or lack thereof, was the central issue of the remaking decision of this appeal. The appellant alleged that he was stateless and that this constituted “very compelling circumstances” outweighing the public interest requiring his deportation; he could not therefore be deported from the UK. The respondent alleged that the appellant was a de jure Guinean national and that the barriers to removal in his case were purely administrative in nature and did not therefore permit the appellant to succeed in his appeal. The Court found that the appellant failed to show, on the balance of probabilities, that he was stateless within the meaning of the 1954 Convention; rather, the appellant was found to be in “actual limbo”. The Court also held that it could not be said that the very strong public interest was outweighed by any factors supporting the appellant’s position, whether viewed in isolation or cumulatively. The Court further found that there may come a stage when all possible avenues to establish the appellant’s Guinean nationality and/or other means of facilitating a removal have been exhausted and that the prospect of deporting him from the UK could be considered so remote that Article 8 ECHR might provide a route for success; but, in the Court's judgment, that stage had not been reached by some distance.
The Court ordered the Ministry of Interior to pay damages to an applicant to the statelessness determination procedure for experiencing delays in the procedure and excessively detaining him while awaiting a statelessness determination decision.
Spain - Supreme Court (Contentious-Administrative Chamber), decision no. 1091/2020 (appeal no. 3661/2019)
The Supreme Court held that the initiation of the administrative procedure to recognise statelessness does not require the applicant to be in Spain. It is sufficient that he/she is at the border post.
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.
The State Secretary for Justice and Security has placed the Appellant under detention for the purpose of deportation. The Appellant refutes this claim, stating that he is stateless, so there is nowhere for him to go. The Court states that there can still be a prospect of deportation when the Appellant is stateless.
The Appellant is a stateless Palestinian who has applied for asylum in the Netherlands. The Appellant claims that Lebanon cannot be regarded as her country of usual residence. The court declares that Lebanon was rightly considered the Appellant’s country of usual residence and the exclusion provision of Article 1 (D) of the Refugee Convention applies.
Spain - Supreme Court (Contentious-Administrative Chamber), decision 1091/2020 (appeal no. 3661/2019)
The initiation of the procedure for the recognition of statelessness status does not require the applicant to be in the national territory, it is sufficient for the applicant to be at a border point.
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 court stated that “not admitting applicants for statelessness status to an asylum seekers' accommodation centre is an unlawful action” and the applicants should be admitted to an accommodation centre until a decision is made on their applications for recognition as a stateless person. The case was argued based on an analogy with the asylum procedure, as the reference to stateless persons is currently in the Czech Asylum Act.
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 originates from former Soviet Union, and has lived in Luxembourg since 2004, unsuccessfully applying for the recognition of a statelessness status on numerous occasions. His identity has never been confirmed, and there were doubts as to the credibility of his testimony stemming from his asylum procedures. The applicant claimed that after 15 years of inability to determine the country of destination for his removal the attempts at deportation should be terminated, and his statelessness recognised, especially considering his poor health condition.
The applicant is a dual Moroccan-Dutch nationality, whose Dutch nationality was withdrawn as a consequence of his involvement in a terrorist organisation. The applicant argued that the legal ground for withdrawing nationality only affects dual nationals, who are almost always Dutch nationals with a non-Western background, and thus constitutes discrimination prohibited by the ECHR. The Court ruled that prevention of statelessness is a sufficient and objective justification of this distinction, and the distinction is therefore justified.
The Ukrainian nationality of the applicant and her two children was withdrawn in 2013, on the basis that the applicant committed fraud when acquiring the nationality in 2006. The allegation of fraud was based on the fact that a case file was missing from a Court which had earlier established the legal fact of the applicant's permanent residence. The applicant argued that the missing file is not her fault and cannot be construed as "fraud" on her side, and the Court agreed with her, annulling the decision that resulted in the loss of her and her children's nationality.
The applicant moved to Ukraine in 2005 from Transnistria, a disputed territory of Moldova, and lived in Ukraine for 14 years with his long-term partner and her children and grandchildren, before receiving a deportation order to Moldova. He disputed the deportation order on the basis of being stateless, having no connection to Moldova, and having a family and private life in Ukraine that are protected under article 8 ECHR. The first two instance courts rejected the applicant's claim, but the Supreme Court of Administrative Cassation ruled in favour of the applicant on the basis of new evidence from the Consulate of Moldova confirming he is not a national of Moldova.
Begum v Secretary of State for the Home Department  All ER (D) 43 (7 February 2020): The Special Immigration Appeals Commission ('SIAC') considered (1) the UK Home Secretary’s decision to deprive the appellant of her British citizenship, whether that decision made the appellant stateless; and (2) whether the appellant could have a fair and effective appeal from Syria and, if not, whether her appeal should be allowed on that ground alone.
Begum v Special Immigration Appeals Commission and another  EWCA Civ 918 (16 July 2020): The Court of Appeal determined what legal and procedural consequences should follow from the conclusion of SIAC that Ms Begum could not have a fair and effective appeal of the Secretary of State’s deprivation appeal.