Greece – Council of the State 2674/2014

The case concerns the acquisition of Greek nationality by the son of a mother who had lost Greek nationality prior to his birth. The court ruled that individuals whose mother had lost Greek nationality on grounds other than marriage were not eligible to acquire Greek nationality.

Case name (in original language)
Συμβούλιο της Επικρατείας (4ο Τμήμα – επταμελής σύνθεση) 2674/2014
Case status
Decided
Case number
2674/2014
Citation
Greece – Council of the State 2674/2014
Date of decision
State
Court / UN Treaty Body
Council of the State
Language(s) the decision is available in
Greek
Applicant's country of birth
Turkey
Applicant's country of residence
Turkey
Relevant Legislative Provisions

Articles 1, 16 & 19 of the 1955 Code of Greek nationality (leg. decree 3370/1955),

Αrticles 1, 6 & 11 of law 1438/1984,

Αrticle 69 § 6 of law 2910/2001.

Facts

The mother of the applicant, born in Greece (Xanthi), married a stateless individual in 1977, and was herself deprived of Greek nationality in 1983, as an individual of non-Greek descent who departed from Greece without intention of return. The applicant was born in Turkey in 1984. In 2002, he applied to acquire Greek nationality, in accordance with the relevant legislative provisions of art. 69 para. 6 of law 2910/2001 providing for the acquisition of Greek nationality by children born before the introduction in 1984 of the legislation allowing mothers to confer Greek nationality to their children to mothers who were Greek nationals at the time of the marriage or birth of the child. His application was rejected by the nationality authorities.

Decision & Reasoning

The court aligned with the position expressed by the administrative authorities, noting that the scope of the provision of art. 69 § 6 of law 2910/2001, as well as law 1438/1984, was to compensate for the disparity caused by the fact that, under the previous legal regime, Greek women could lose their nationality due to marriage and, thus, children would – normally - not acquire the nationality of their mother.

In that context, the provision could only be invoked in cases where the mother possessed Greek nationality at the time of the marriage but had lost it as a result of the marriage, i.e. due to the acquisition of the nationality of the husband. In this case, the mother retained her nationality following her marriage, since her husband was stateless, but had lost it prior to the birth of the applicant, as a person of non-Greek descent departing from Greece without intent of return.

Outcome

The court rejected the application.

The case was examined by the 7-member composition of the court upon referral by interlocutory decision 3770/2012 of the 4th Chamber of the Council of the State (5-member), in view of the importance of the issues arising.