View Adopted: 2022.03.24
The authors of the communication are M.A.S. and I.E.J., two nationals of Jordan, who applied for Italian citizenship in 2010 and 2004 respectively. M.A.S.’s application was denied due to severe criminal proceedings brought against her husband. I.E.J.’s application was also rejected on the grounds that he had been found guilty of practicing as a doctor without a valid title and due to the criminal trial pending against him. In 2014, M.A.S. appealed the decision before the Regional Administrative Tribunal. I.E.J. filed an extraordinary appeal to the President of Italy. Although his appeal was accepted, in 2018 the Ministry of the Interior denied I.E.J.’s application once again, on the sole basis of the pending criminal trial. After the initial submission of the communication, I.E.J. appealed the decision before the Regional Administrative Tribunal. In 2021, the Tribunal rejected both appeals. The authors claim that the denial of their applications violates article 17 (right to privacy). In addition, M.A.S. alleges a violation of article 26 (non-discrimination), since the decision was based on facts related to her husband, and not to her. I.E.J. also contends that the denial of his application is contrary to article 14(2) (right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty). Lastly, both authors claim that the duration of the appeal proceedings discourages the taking of legal action against the denial of citizenship, and it thus constitutes a violation of article 26.
The Committee notes that the communication was submitted when the domestic appeals proceedings before the Regional Administrative Tribunal were still pending. It also observes the State party’s contention that there were no unreasonable delays in the appeals procedures and that the authors could still submit a second instance appeal to the Council of State. Moreover, it recalls that mere doubts about the effectiveness of domestic remedies do not absolve the authors of the requirement to exhaust them. Since the authors’ procedural motions were acted on and the Tribunal decided on their first instance appeals, the Committee concludes that the authors have not convincingly explained why the available judicial remedies would not have been effective in their cases. Thus, the communication is inadmissible due to non-exhaustion of available domestic remedies.
By: Giacomo Bruno