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"Temporary" Polish citizenship of women born abroad before January 19, 1933

The Voivodship Administrative Court in Warsaw in the judgment of July 2, 2018 reference number IV Sa / Wa 1212/18 (unpublished) decided that if a minor acquired foreign citizenship under the Act of 1920 on the citizenship of the Polish state, she lost her citizenship upon attainment of majority. The court ruled that this applies to women who had reached the age of majority during the period of validity of the 1920 Act, i.e. those born before January 19, 1933.

The court argued that when the woman was a minor, her citizenship was related to her father's citizenship and thus somehow protected. However, upon reaching the age of majority, this protection ceased and the woman lost Polish citizenship as a result of acquiring foreign citizenship at birth (or later due to naturalization),

This argument cannot be accepted. First of all, it is contrary to the linguistic interpretation of the provisions which provided for the loss of Polish citizenship by women as a result of acquiring foreign citizenship. This rule did not apply to wedding daughters whose citizenship was linked to their father's citizenship. Therefore, since the exception worked, the citizenship was not lost when foreign citizenship was acquired. On the other hand, upon coming of age there was no loss of citizenship because on that day no foreign citizenship was acquired. Secondly, the interpretation of the court is contrary to the constitutional principle of the permanence of Polish citizenship. No one may be deprived of Polish citizenship without a clear legal basis. Meanwhile, the interpretation of the court is extremely law-making and creates the state of so-called temporary citizenship. Therefore, a category of citizens is created, so to speak, which will cease to be citizens. Unfortunately, the interpretation presented by the Court inscribed itself in the controversial interpretation of the so-called temporary citizenship of men who ceased to be subject to military service. However, one should hope that the presented view will be isolated and will not be recognized by the Supreme Administrative Court.

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