Ukraine - Supreme Administrative Court, judgment no. К/9901/8478/20

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.

Case status
Case number
№ К/9901/8478/20
Date of decision
Court / UN Treaty Body
Supreme Court of Administrative Cassation
Language(s) the decision is available in
Applicant's country of birth
Applicant's country of residence

The applicant entered Ukraine legally in 2005 for employment, having previously resided in Transnistria (a disputed region in Moldova). The applicant received a deportation order on 30 October 2019, and was ordered to leave Ukraine by the 20 November 2019. He was identified as stateless, and his place of residence was identified as Moldova. He challenged the decision in court, arguing that the Migration Service failed to establish that he was in fact a Moldovan citizen. The first two instances of judicial review rejected the applicant's arguments. 

Decision & Reasoning

The Court reasoned as follows:

"38. Whereas the lower instance courts did not consider the fact that the applicant is not documented with a passport from any country and does not consider himself a national of Moldova - the country of his intended deportation. He arrived to Ukraine in 2005 from the territory of Moldova that is not under control of the central government which is situated on the left bank of river Dniester.

39. Moreover, account should be taken of the circumstances under which the Migration Service in Odesa region identified the applicant as a national of Moldova in the contested decision.

40. It has been confirmed that the appeals court has been receiving information that the competent authorities of Moldova do not recognise the applicant as one of their nationals (a notification from the Consulate of the Republic of Moldova in Odesa of 4 February 2020, Nr. 068). The Court had the possibility to consider the originals of these documents, in the presence of representatives of both parties, or alternatively to make an independent inquiry with the Consulate of the Republic of Moldova in Odesa. 

41. However, knowing the existence of such information, the court did not make use of the opportunity to assess the evidence which was material to the correct resolution of the dispute.

42. The above gives rise to the conclusion that the court did not adhere to the principle of official establishment of the circumstances of the case in assessing the evidence collected, which leads to the impossibility of establishing the factual circumstances that are relevant to reach a correct decision in the case."


The Court returned the case to the Court of Appeals for reconsideration.