ECHR decision of 12 may 2020 in the case "Sudita Keita v. Hungary" (aplication N 42321/15).
in 2015, the applicant was assisted in preparing the aplication. The aplication was subsequently communicated to Hungary.
The case successfully addressed an aplication about the long-term difficulties faced by the applicant as a stateless person in trying to settle his legal status, as well as the fact that the Hungarian authorities did not fulfill their positive duty to provide an effective and accessible procedure or set of procedures that would allow the applicant to obtain a review of his legal status in Hungary with due regard to his interests in the protection of the right to privacy. The case violated the requirements of article 8 of the Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The applicant was a stateless person from Somalia and Nigeria. He arrived in Hungary in 2002. His attempts to legitimize his legal status in this country were unsuccessful. In 2015, the Hungarian constitutional court excluded from the law on the admission and residence of third - country nationals (hereinafter referred to as the RRTN law) a provision that required "legal residence in the country" as a precondition for obtaining the status of a stateless person, ruling that this requirement was contrary to public international legal obligations assumed by the Hungarian authorities.
As a result, the applicant was granted the status of a stateless person in October 2017. The applicant complained about the long-term difficulties he had encountered in legalizing his situation, which allegedly had a negative impact on his access to health care and employment and on his right to marry.
POINT OF LAW
Regarding compliance with article 8 of the Convention. The main question was whether the Hungarian authorities had provided an effective and accessible procedure or set of procedures that would have enabled the applicant to obtain a review of his continued stay in the country and legal status, with due regard to his privacy interests.
The applicant undoubtedly had a private life in Hungary, and the court agreed that the uncertainty of the applicant's legal status, which had lasted for approximately 15 years, had had a negative impact on his private life. The applicant lived in Hungary without any legal status, without basic access to health care and employment. The Nigerian Embassy in Budapest refused to recognize the applicant as a Nigerian citizen in 2006, making the applicant a de facto stateless person from that time on.
Until the decision of the Hungarian Constitutional court to exclude the requirement of "legal residence" from the RRTN Law, it was practically impossible for the applicant to obtain recognition as a stateless person, since the applicant could not fulfill this requirement. In fact, contrary to the principles set out in the United Nations Convention relating to the status of stateless persons of 1954, the applicant, a stateless person, was obliged to comply with requirements that, due to his legal status, he was unable to meet. After the adoption of the constitutional court's decision in question, it took the Hungarian authorities more than two years to make a final decision on the applicant's case, eventually recognizing him as a stateless person.
Taking into account the special circumstances of the present case, the court finds that the Hungarian authorities failed to comply with their positive obligation to provide an effective and accessible procedure or set of procedures that would have enabled the applicant to obtain a review of his legal status in Hungary with due regard to his interests in the protection of the right to privacy under article 8 of the Convention.
The case violated the requirements of article 8 of the Convention (adopted unanimously).
In the application of article 41 of the Convention. The European Court awarded the applicant EUR 8,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage, but the claim for pecuniary damage was rejected.