Fighting Statelessness and Discriminatory Nationality Laws in Europe

In: European Journal of Migration and Law
Laura van Waas Statelessness Programme, Tilburg Law School Tilburg The Netherlands

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The European Convention on Nationality opens with an articulation of the general principles upon which the instrument rests. These can be summarised as follows: (i) states are free to determine who are their nationals, within the limits set by international law; (ii) statelessness shall be avoided; and (iii) rules relating to nationality may not be discriminatory. Here, the second and third statements give content to the first. Thus, the most significant limits imposed by international law with regard to the regulation of nationality are standards relating to the avoidance of statelessness and to the principle of non-discrimination. This article explores the development of these two sets of standards in the European context through an analysis of the further provisions of the European Convention on Nationality as well as an investigation of emerging regional jurisprudence. In particular, the article considers the significance of the recent Rottmann (ECJ 2010) and Genovese (ECtHR 2011) rulings.

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