Universiteit Maastricht

Seminar on the Right to Citizenship: Towards Fuller Implementation of Art. 15 UDHR

7 March 2013

Nationality law is the last bastion in the citadel of state sovereignty.  According to traditional international law conferral of nationality is a matter of domestic jurisdiction. This freedom is restricted only by the requirement not to interfere with the rights of other states. The process of the humanization of international law entails, however, that the interests of the individual become more dominant at the expense of the discretionary power of the state. Although Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that “Everyone is entitled to a nationality” there are currently some 12 million stateless persons in the world. The human right to a nationality has not been included in any human rights treaty. Recent European case law indicates, however, that the right to citizenship is on its way towards becoming an enforceable human right. In the Rottmann case the European Court of Justice held that a decision to withdraw nationality must be in conformity with European Union law. In the Genovese case the European Court of Human Rights established that denial of citizenship must be in accordance with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to private life). The seminar will enquire into the current significance of the human right to a nationality and formulate proposals for its fuller implementation. See program


Venue: Stayokay, Maasboulevard 101, Maastricht. More information

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