Case Nos. 7549/09 and 33330/11
Date of Judgment: 12 June 2018
The applicants are former citizens of the Soviet Union who moved to the Russian Federation from Kyrgyzstan and Georgia (both former Soviet countries). They received Russian passports in 2001 and 2002 respectively. When they applied to renew them, the first applicant’s passport was seized, and the second applicant was denied issue of a new passport, on the grounds that their previous documents had been issued “in error”.
In their ECtHR applications lodged in 2008 and 2011, the applicants argued that the State’s actions interfered with their rights under Art. 8 ECHR to find employment, and receive medical care, pensions or social benefits. In 2010 and 2013 both applicants made successful new applications for Russian citizenship and were issued with passports.
The Government complained that the applicants had failed to inform the Court that they had subsequently been granted Russian citizenship. It argued that the first applicant’s Art. 8 rights had been interfered with, but that this had been lawful and necessary in a democratic society. In relation to the second applicant, it argued that there had been no breach of Article 8, as his passport had not been seized, and he had failed to show how the refusal to exchange it had affected his rights and freedoms, except hypothetically.