Arbitrariness in the denial of nationality to children of foreign parents: Limits to national decisions in a system of ius soli.

European Court of Human Rights, Judgement of 13 January 2022, Hashemi and others v. Azerbaijan, Applications no(s) 1480/16, 3936/16, 15835/16, 28034/16, 34491/16, 51348/16, 15904/17

In the case Hashemi and others v. Azerbaijan, the ECtHR examines if a refusal to issue identity cards to children born on national territory to foreign parents could be considered an arbitrary refusal since they hold birth certificates recognizing them as Azerbaijani nationals. Although the right to acquire a particular nationality is not guaranteed by the Convention, in certain circumstances, arbitrary decisions raise an issue under Article 8 as they have a negative impact on private life.  The Court analyzes the case taking into consideration national legislation regarding the acquisition of nationality (based on ius soli), its subsequent amendments, including exceptions to the acquisition, and the necessary procedural guarantees to determine whether or not there is a violation of Article 8.


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Elsa Fernando Gonzalo is a Ph.D. researcher in the International Law Department at the University of Salamanca where she enjoys a pre-doctoral grant funded by the regional government (JCyL) for the fulfillment of her doctoral thesis. After completing a Master in African Studies and International Relations at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and a Master in International Protection of Human Rights at the Universidad de Alcala, she obtained an Extraordinary Master's Prize, which subsequently led to the publication of her Master's thesis "International legal framework of human trafficking: special mention to the European regional space" as a book edited by Cuadernos Deusto de Derechos Humanos. Since 2018, she is attached to the Department of General Public Law where she develops her research activity on the migration policy of the European Union and cooperation with third States. She teaches International Public Law and International Relations in the Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and teaches as well in English in the Bachelor's Degree in Global Studies. She is currently part of the European Erasmus + project "European Papers-A Journal on Law and Integration" funded by the European Commission. Her research interests include the EU´s immigration policy, border management, return and readmission policy, International Human Rights Law, and European integration.