Court name: European Court of Human Rights
Date of decision:
Legal instruments: European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)
Key aspects: Acquisition of nationality, Determination/confirmation of nationality, Discrimination, Gender, Respect for private and family life
Maltese authorities denied Maltese nationality to a child on the basis that they were born out of wedlock to a Maltese father and a British mother. Domestic legislation only conferred nationality to children born out of wedlock if the mother was Maltese. The Court rejected the argument advanced by the Maltese Government that this case was justified on the basis that a mother is always certain, whereas a father is not. It concluded that no reasonable grounds were adduced to justify such a difference in the treatment of the applicant and found a violation of Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8 ECHR.