The present case concerns the conditions under which an individual may be stripped of nationality.
A Moroccan national acquired French nationality. Later he was condemned for terrorism. The Prime Minister issued a decree withdrawing the French nationality.
The person concerned lodged an action for annulment on the grounds of ultra vires.
By a judgment of 31st October 2014 the Supreme Court (Conseil d’Etat) seised the Constitutional court (Conseil constitutionnel) in order to examine if the withdrawn of nationality, previewed by Articles 25 and 25-1 of the French Civil Code, was compatible with the French Constitution. The Constitutional court (Conseil constitutionnel) validated the legislation by taking into consideration different elements – cases of nationality withdrawal were restrictively enumerated, procedure of withdrawing might be intended only upon a determined time limit, a person should be not left stateless. The particular gravity of terrorism activity was also taken into account.
Following the constitutional decision, the Supreme Court (Conseil d’Etat) dismissed the claim and validated the withdrawal of nationality in regard of the EU law.
Supreme judges referred to the European Court of Justice ruling ROTTMAN, case C-135/08 and concluded that neither Article 20 TFEU, nor Article 20 of the EU Charter prohibit withdrawal of nationality provided that some safeguard were taken, as it was already underlined in the Constitutional court decision.
Moreover, the Supreme Court (Conseil d’Etat) dismissed the arguments related to a violation of human rights. According to the supreme judges, neither Article 14 ECH, nor Protocol n°3 concerned the conditions for granting and withdrawal of nationality. Concerning Protocol n° 12 it was not ratified by France.
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