Eva Antonenko
14 October 2022 15: 21
Headings: News Society Policy

Legal precedent: what will happen to Ukrainian citizenship if you have a second citizenship and how will this affect the ability of those liable for military service to leave the country?

Contradictory decisions have appeared in the legislative field of Ukraine on the issue of which country citizens will be people with dual citizenship.

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Legal precedent: what will happen to Ukrainian citizenship if you have a second citizenship and how will this affect the ability of those liable for military service to leave the country?

There are quite a few citizens with dual citizenship in Ukraine. In addition, in the Ukrainian territories annexed by Russia, the Russian Federation issues Russian passports to local residents. In this regard, the question of what will happen to the Ukrainian citizenship of persons who voluntarily received a second citizenship is very relevant. And recently in the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court, a decision was made that could become a legal precedent in this matter.

The heart of the matter

An unidentified person appealed to the Supreme Court as a court of first instance the Decree of the President of Ukraine "On Termination of Citizenship" in part loss of citizenship of Ukraine by the plaintiff due to his obtaining Israeli citizenship.

The plaintiff argued his disagreement with the court decision by the fact that he was born in the Khmelnitsky region and is a citizen of Ukraine on the grounds of birth and permanent residence in Ukraine. In this regard, a person believes that he cannot be deprived of Ukrainian citizenship, expelled from the country or transferred to another state. And the plaintiff received an Israeli passport back in 1995 in order to extend the period of stay in the country for doing business.

The court decided not to return citizenship

Court decided following. In Art. 4 of the Constitution of Ukraine establishes that the grounds for termination of citizenship of Ukraine are determined by law. According to Art. 17 of the Law of Ukraine "On Citizenship of Ukraine" citizenship of Ukraine is terminated:

  • as a result of withdrawal from the citizenship of Ukraine;
  • due to loss of citizenship of Ukraine;
  • on the grounds provided for by international treaties of Ukraine. The grounds for the loss of citizenship of Ukraine are regulated in paragraph 1 of part 1 of Art. 19 of this Law: such a basis is the voluntary acquisition by a citizen of Ukraine of the citizenship of another state, if at the time of this he has reached the age of majority.

As a result, the judges concluded that termination citizenship of Ukraine due to its loss due to the active actions of an adultaimed at acquiring the citizenship of another state, is not depriving citizenship of Ukraine.

The decision notes that the plaintiff was obliged to prove the fact of termination of citizenship of another state, which he did not do, from which it follows that the plaintiff's lack of a passport of another state was not confirmed, and therefore he will not remain stateless upon termination of Ukrainian citizenship.

In addition, in the statement of claim, the plaintiff stated that he voluntarily applied for citizenship Israel - and as a result of this treatment acquired it. Loss of citizenship by the plaintiff as a result of the voluntary acquisition of the citizenship of another state testifies to the absence of a violation of international law (Article 7 of the European Convention on Nationality and Article 8 of the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, ratified by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine).

The VP VS also noted that the legislation of Ukraine is quite liberal regarding the renewal of citizenship after its loss. So, according to paragraph 4 of part 1 of Art. 6 of the Law of Ukraine "On Citizenship of Ukraine", the citizenship of Ukraine is acquired as a result of the renewal of citizenship, and the plaintiff can use this effective legal remedy.

Legal precedent?

Dual citizenship in Ukraine is prohibited and not allowed. Formerly in the State Border Service of Ukraine stated, that citizens who have several citizenships, one of which is Ukrainian, are considered Ukrainians in relations with Ukraine. And as a result, military men with dual citizenship are prohibited from leaving Ukraine. But the described judgment contradicts this norm.

That is, now conscripted men with dual citizenship will be able to leave Ukraine under martial law, referring to this court decision, if they receive a decision to terminate the citizenship of Ukraine and cease to be considered citizens of Ukraine.

It is not yet clear whether Ukraine will allow the use of such a scheme as the voluntary acquisition of a second citizenship during the war, in order to terminate Ukrainian citizenship and leave the country. Recall that in Ukraine case law is not fundamental.

We also wrote about in July, Gennady Korban, Igor Kolomoisky and Vadim Rabinovich were deprived of Ukrainian citizenship, and told that According to the SBU, Judge Lvov still has Russian citizenship.

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