Forfeiture of nationality

The French Council of State confirmed that persons perpetrating terrorism may be deprived of their French (and respectively EU) citizenship

Conseil d’État, 2ème et 7ème sous-sections réunies, 11/05/2015, 383664

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the Supreme Court (Conseil d’Etat) seised the Constitutional court (Conseil constitutionnel) in order to examine if the withdrawn of nationality, previewed by Articles 25 and 25-1 of the French Civil Code, was compatible with the French Constitution.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.

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The French Constitutional Council rules on the question concerning the forfeiture of nationality

Constitutional Council, decision dated 23.01.15, Ahmed S., QPC 2014-439

In a decision dated 23 January 2015, the Constitutional Council, hearing a priority preliminary ruling on constitutionality concerning the compliance with the Constitution of the provisions of the Civil Code regarding forfeiture of nationality of naturalised French persons perpetrating terrorism, considered that the said provisions were not unconstitutional and that it was not within its jurisdiction to pass a preliminary question to the EU Court of Justice to assess the compliance of these provisions with the principles of equality and non-discrimination enshrined in Articles 20 and 21 of the Charter and Article 18 of the TFEU.

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