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Supreme Court of Denmark

Refusal of application for citizenship did not amount to discrimination 
09-05-2017 

Case no. 120/2016


Judgment delivered on 9 May 2017


A, B and C
vs.
The Ministry of Immigration and Integration
Intervener for A, B and C:
Danish Institute for Human Rights – Denmark's national human rights institution


Refusal of application for citizenship and exemption from the Danish language requirement did not amount to discrimination on the grounds of disability.

A, B and C had applied for Danish citizenship and for an exemption from the requirement of Danish language skills in the then-current circulars on citizenship, as they claimed to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which meant they were unable to learn Danish at the required level. The Ministry of Immigration and Integration's Citizenship Office and the Danish Parliament's Citizenship Committee had decided that A, B and C could not obtain Danish citizenship because they did not meet the requirement of Danish language skills etc.

The main issue in the case was whether A, B and C had been subjected to discrimination on the grounds of disability in contravention of Denmark's obligations under international law.

The Supreme Court ruled that neither A nor B had proven that they had PTSD or other disabilities at the time of the decisions that meant that they were unable to meet or had no reasonable prospect of meeting the language requirement. The Supreme Court held that C had demonstrated that he suffered from long-term disability due to a mental disorder at the time of the decisions. However, he had not proven that he was unable to meet or had no reasonable prospect of meeting the language requirement at the time of the decisions. Neither A, B nor C had thus been subjected to discrimination on the grounds of disability.

The Supreme Court also held that the reasons for the refusals were not in breach of the requirement of providing reasons in the European Convention on Nationality.

The High Court had reached the same conclusion.

 

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