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France / State Council / 383664

M. Q. v the French Republic (request to annul an Order)

Policy area:
Justice, freedom and security
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
State Council (High Administrative Court)
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
11/05/2015

Key facts of the case:

Mr Q (a citizen of both France and Morocco) was stripped of French nationality by an Order of 28 May 2014 adopted on the basis of Articles 25 and 25-1 of the Civil Code, on the grounds that he was convicted by a final judgment of the High Court of Paris for participating in a criminal association for the preparation of an act of terrorism, offences listed in Article 421-2-1 of the Criminal Code. In a request filed in August 2014, Mr Q asked the State Council to annul the Order on the grounds of abuse of power.

Outcome of the case:

The State Council rejected the appeal.

The withdrawal of French nationality is not incompatible with the requirements resulting from the law of the Union if the people in question acquired this nationality and also have another nationality, for reasons listed and having regard to the very particular gravity of the acts of terrorism, and if the withdrawal of nationality is possible within a limited time.

The State Council rejected the appeal by dismissing the pleas made as follows:

  • To the extent that the loss of the nationality of a Member State results in the loss of citizenship of the Union, the loss of the nationality of a Member State must, to be consistent with EU law, respond to reasons of public interest and be proportionate to the seriousness of the facts on which it is based, the time since the acquisition of nationality and the possibility for that person to obtain another nationality; that the terms of the Charter of Fundamental Rights do not preclude that the loss of nationality may depend on the mode or conditions of acquisition of nationality. 
  • The right of a foreigner to acquire the nationality of a State signatory to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and keep it is not among the rights and freedoms recognized therein;
  • The applicant can not usefully claim a misreading of the provisions of Protocol 12 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which has been neither signed nor ratified by France;
  • The terms of Article 3 of Additional Protocol 4 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, according to which ‘No one shall be expelled, by means of individual or collective measures, from the territory the State of which they are a national’ do not prevent a person from being deprived of French nationality under the provisions of the Civil Code;
  • It does not appear from the file that, in ordering the withdrawal of French nationality for Mr Q, the Prime Minister exclusively based the decision on the conviction by the High Court of Paris, without a review of the specific circumstances the applicant's situation.