North-Transylvania Nationality Case

Date21 Diciembre 1965
CourtCourt of Appeal of Berlin (Germany)
Federal Republic of Germany, Court of Appeal of Berlin.
North-Transsylvania Nationality Case.

Nationality Acquisition of As affected by changes of sovereignty Whether effective link is required for grant of nationality Whether nationality can be conferred without his consent upon a person living outside the conferring State The law of Germany.

Summary: The facts.The applicant, who was then living in North-Transsylvania, acquired Roumanian nationality under the Treaties of St. Germain (1919) and Trianon (1920). In 1940 he acquired Hungarian nationality under the provisions of the Vienna Award. He lost Hungarian nationality under a Hungarian Degree of 1945 declaring the Vienna award void. In 1944 he had been deported and had since lived in Switzerland without ever returning to Hungary. On the question whether he could have re-acquired Roumanian nationality,

Held: that he had not done so. Although a State is in principle free to determine at its discretion acquisition and loss of its nationality, it is restricted in doing so by the recognized rules of international law. Thus a State may not under international law grant its nationality arbitrarily, but only to persons who are in a close and actual relationship to it. In the case of cession of territory, naturalization is only possible with respect to persons ordinarily resident there or consenting to the naturalization. Neither condition applied to the applicant.

The text of the judgment follows:


Under Article 70 of the Treaty of St. Germain and Article 61 of the Treaty of Trianon the applicant, who formerly lived in territory ceded to Roumania by Hungary, acquired Roumanian nationality without regard to whether he had previously been an Austrian or a Hungarian national (cf. Beitzke, Das Staatsangehrigkeitsrecht von Albanien, Bulgarien und Rumnien (1951), p. 65). The applicant did not avail himself of the option for Austrian or Hungarian nationality (cf. also 1, 3 and 4 of the Hungarian Decree No. 6500/1921 korm. (i.e. governmental decree) on the publication and implementation of the nationality provisions of the Peace Treaty of Trianon of 28 September 1921) which was possible under Articles 63 and 64 of the Treaty. This is evidenced by the fact that he did not have to leave his home, which he would have been bound to do under Article 63, paragraph 3, of the Treaty of Trianon had he exercised the right of option. On 30 August 1940 he acquired Hungarian nationality under the Vienna Award of the same...

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