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Publication Detail
Can statelessness be legally productive? The struggle for the rights of noncitizens in Russia
Abstract
Nearly 30 years since the collapse of the Soviet bloc, there are still people who have never in their lives held any passport other than that of the Soviet Union. They are de jure stateless. However, their statelessness can also be legally productive if strategically challenged. This legal productivity arises from the mobilization of human rights protections embedded in de jure statelessness by local legal actors in a given, national immigration context, and extending them to secure the rights of de facto stateless: undocumented migrants and asylum seekers. I illustrate this using a case study of the recent litigation for the rights of Mr Mskhiladze – a stateless person born in the Georgian USSR – before the Russian Constitutional Court (2017) and the European Court of Human Rights (2018). Conceptually, my paper testifies to a productive relationship between a de jure and de facto statelessness in the post-Soviet context.
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