This case concerns a mother and child, NB and AB, stateless Palestinians formerly residing in Lebanon who are registered with UNRWA. AB is severely disabled and has complex medical issues and other needs. They sought asylum in the United Kingdom on the basis of Article 1D of the Refugee Convention. The Court considered whether they qualify to be granted ipso facto refugee status under Article 1D of the Refugee Convention. The Court found that the burden of proof lies with the applicants to prove that they have actually had recourse to UNRWA’s protection or assistance and that that protection or assistance has ceased, but, once that is established, if the authority considers that the applicant could now return to UNRWA’s area of operation, it is for that authority to demonstrate that the circumstances have changed in the area of operations concerned and that the applicant can access adequate protection or assistance from UNRWA. It also held that the applicant does not need to prove that there was any intentional infliction of harm or failure; it is sufficient to establish that UNRWA’s assistance or protection has in fact ceased for any reason (beyond the applicant’s control). The Court held, inter alia, that if UNRWA cooperates with a civil society or host government agency or actor to fulfil its mission, the services by those organisations are relevant to considerations of whether UNWRA can provide adequate assistance or protection only if there is a stable and formal relationship between UNRWA and the relevant organisations, and the applicant has a durable right to such services.
The case concerns the eligibility for protection of a person born in Gaza, who holds a passport issued by the Palestinian National Authority, is registered with UNRWA, and sought asylum in Bulgaria. Interpreting Article 12(1)(a) of the 2011 Qualification Directive (equivalent to Article 1D of the Refugee Convention), the CJEU found that Article 1D, as lex specialis, must be considered prior to Article 1A of the Refugee Convention, that prior registration with UNRWA does not necessarily mean that the applicant could access sufficient protection in an UNRWA area, and that Palestinians are not included under the second paragraph of Article 1D and automatically entitled to protection if they could be admitted to any area where they could access effective assistance or protection from UNRWA and could live there in safe and dignified conditions for as long as necessary.
The case concerns the application of Article 12 of the Qualification Directive (recast Directive 2011/95) on the possibility for those whose support from United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has ceased to obtain international protection. The main issue was the determination of which country had been the applicant’s habitual place of residence to examine the reasons for protection. In the applicant’s case, while he had lived in Syria for a significant length of time, his ties to Algeria were strong enough to permit the Court to find the latter to be his habitual place of residence and consequently the applicant’s appeal was dismissed as Algeria was found to be safe.
The case concerns a stateless person of Palestinian origin who was refused asylum in Hungary. The question before the CJEU concerned the circumstances in which a person is considered to be receiving "protection or assistance from organs or agencies of the United Nations other than [UNHCR]" within the meaning of Article 12(1)(a) of the 2004 Qualification Directive (equivalent to Article 1D of the Refugee Convention), and may therefore be entitled to refugee status when that protection or assistance ceases. The CJEU held that the words “at present” mean the present day, and that a person receives protection or assistance from UNRWA when that person has actually availed themselves of that protection or assistance, and not if they are entitled to but have not done so. It also noted that persons who have not actually availed themselves of protection or assistance from UNRWA, prior to their application for refugee status, may, in any event, have that application examined pursuant to Article 2(c) of the Directive.
The case concerns the interpretation and scope of Article 12(1)(a) of the 2004 Qualification Directive (equivalent to Article 1D of the Refugee Convention). The CJEU held that persons who have registered with UNRWA or received UNRWA’s assistance will not be excluded from refugee status if that assistance has ceased for reasons beyond their control and independent of their volition. However, mere absence from UNRWA’s area of operation or a voluntary decision to leave it cannot be regarded as cessation of assistance. A person will be considered to have been forced to leave UNRWA’s area of operation where their personal safety was at serious risk and it was impossible for UNRWA to guarantee their living conditions. Where UNRWA’s assistance has ceased for reasons beyond the control of the applicant, and other exclusion clauses are not applicable, the applicant is automatically entitled to refugee status, but they are required to have made an application for refugee status.
An Austrian national by birth transferred his residence to Germany and naturalised as a German national. The naturalisation in Germany had the effect, in accordance with Austrian law, of causing him to lose his Austrian nationality. The German authorities later withdrew the naturalisation with retroactive effect, on the grounds that the applicant had not disclosed that he was the subject of a criminal investigation in Austria on account of suspected serious fraud, and that he had thus obtained German nationality by deception. The Court held that it is not contrary to EU law for a Member State to withdraw nationality obtained by deception, even if it results in losing EU citizenship, so long as the decision observes the principle of proportionality. Observance of the principle of proportionality requires the person concerned to be afforded a reasonable period of time in order to try to recover the nationality of their Member State of origin.
This case concerns a stateless applicant born in the Tajikistan Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union, who was arrested for homelessness in Russia. The District Court ruled that he had to be preventively detained until his expulsion to Tajikistan. Russia tried to obtain travel documentation for the applicant, overlooking the fact that the applicant was not a Tajik national and that Tajikistan had no legal obligation to admit him, resulting in his preventive detention for two years. The Court found a violation of Article 5 ECHR, as the applicant’s detention was not carried out in good faith due to the lack of a realistic prospect of his expulsion and the domestic authorities’ failure to conduct the proceedings with due diligence.
Fourteen Syrian nationals of Kurdish origin and two stateless Kurds had their asylum applications rejected in Cyprus, on grounds of the accounts being either unsubstantiated, lacking credibility or, on the respective facts, being insufficient to establish a real risk of persecution. The applicants were arrested, detained, deported, and subjected to imprisonment for protesting the Government’s restrictive asylum policies. The grounds for deportation related to illegal entry and illegal stay. The applicants claimed that they had not received these orders but were informed orally of their deportation.
The applicants, a stateless Palestinian from Syria and two Syrian nationals, entered Russia in 2013 and were kept in a detention centre before their expulsion to Syria. The Court held that the Government’s actions breached the applicant’s rights provided under Articles 2 and 3. The Court also stated that Articles 5(4) and 5(1)(f) had been violated with regards to their detention. The Court also held that the restricted contact with their respective representatives had breached Article 34 of the Convention.
Five applicants of dual nationality, convicted in 2007 of participating in a criminal association in a terrorist context, were stripped of their French nationality in October 2015 by Prime Minister decrees. The Court held that the decision to forfeit the applicants’ French nationality did not have a disproportionate impact on their private lives and therefore was not in violation of Article 8 of the Convention.
A family of three applicants, who came to Latvia under the former Soviet Union, were denied permanent resident status following its independence and offered short term residence status and registration on the domestic register of residents. The second and third applicants have Russian nationality, while the first applicant has no nationality. Following complaints of their Article 8 and Article 34 rights being violated, it was held that Article 8 cannot guarantee the right to a particular type of residence permit.
The applicant of Roma origin was denied a residence permit to the Netherlands on the basis of the applicant’s husband failing to meet the requirements under domestic immigration rules and because of the applicant’s multiple convictions. The Court held the Contracting State had struck a fair balance between the applicant’s Article 8 rights and its own interests in regulating its immigration.
Two applications (joined before the Court) concerned the removal of and the refusal to exchange passports, leaving the applicants stateless and without identity documentation, after the relevant Russian authorities found their Russian citizenship to be granted erroneously. The Court held the withdrawal of identity documents, which affected the exercise of their rights and freedoms in their daily lives, was a violation of Article 8 of the Convention.
The applicant received an assurance of acquiring Austrian nationality if she renounces her former, Serbian, nationality. Shortly after the renunciation the applicant lost her job and was unable to find alternative employment due to her statelessness, which resulted in her no longer complying with the income requirement for acquiring Austrian nationality. The Court declares unconstitutional the law which requires continuous fulfilment of all the conditions for naturalisation, even after Austrian nationality has been conditionally granted and the former nationality has been renounced.
A stateless applicant born in Bhutan and previously resident in India was refused asylum in Ireland by the Refugee Appeals Tribunal. The Tribunal stated that according to the 1951 Refugee Convention, statelessness per se, does not give rise to a claim to refugee status. The High Court held that, for the purposes of refugee status determination, the applicant does not have to prove that he was persecuted in all countries of former habitual residence. The applicant must demonstrate that one country was guilty of persecution, and that he is unable or unwilling to return to any of the states where he formerly habitually resided.
Deprivation of nationality made as an orderly sanction for failure to fulfil obligations that apply to all citizens, cannot be considered as a form of persecution that could justify asylum.
The case concerns the appeal by the stateless person from Kuwait, Mr. Sager Al-Anezi, against the decision of the asylum authorities in Bulgaria to reject his application for international protection as manifestly unfounded under a fast-track procedure carried out while Mr.Al-Anezi was placed in detention for removal. By a final judgment, the Sofia City Administrative Court allowed the appeal of Mr. Al-Anezi. The court judgment contains inter alia detailed analysis on the significance of the right to nationality as a fundamental human right; the application of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees to stateless persons and the situation of Bidoon in Kuwait.