The State lost ‘historic’ lawsuit over issuance of travel documents

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Seven refugees with legal residence in Norway, who were denied travel documents, have won over the state in the Court of Appeal.

The State believed that under Norwegian law, authorities could refuse to issue ID documents if there was doubt about their identities.

The seven plaintiffs sued and prevailed in court, but the State appealed.
The Court of Appeal determined that denying the plaintiffs’ travel documents only because of the usual doubts about ID, was not in line with the Refugee Convention, according to NRK news.

‘Without ID, one can work, or get a driver’s license, or education in an institution that requires proof of good conduct.

According to the Directorate of Immigration (UDI), there were 176 people in Norway in the same situation as of January this year’, wrote NRK, when the case went to court.

‘This is historic. It is quite simply about what, in its day, was a ‘Nansen passport’, today it is described as a ‘refugee travel document’’.

This ruling establishes that anyone who has been granted asylum in Norway is entitled to identity papers, and may function in society’, said advocate for refugees,
Georg Scherven Hansen, to VG newspaper.

The newspaper wrote that the appellate court believes it is only in cases of importance for national security and public order where travel document for refugees won’t be issued.

‘That one is not 100% certain of their identity is not sufficient reason to deny papers’, ruled the court.

The State at the Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board (Utlendingsnemnda – UNE) were also ordered to pay 150,000 in legal costs. The State still has the right to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today