This week a Lebanese woman won a legal battle against the state recognizing her right to give her citizenship to her children. The woman was married to a foreigner who died while the children were still minors. Al-Akhbar had an article on the case yesterday along with a copy of the judge’s decision.
I’ve been trying to find some English press coverage but have had little success so far. L’Orient le Jour, however, has a write up of the case along with the government’s reaction.
The question asked in L’Orient le Jour is whether or not this ruling will set a precedent and whether or not the state intends to appeal. The answer to the first question is unsure, but comments on the issue by Minister of Justice Ibrahim Najjar seem to indicate that there will be an appeal (translation mine):
Ce n’est qu’un jugement de première instance, et l’État pourrait être acculé à faire appel avant qu’il ne devienne définitif et qu’il ait pour effet d’opérer un revirement de jurisprudence.
This is only a first ruling, and the state could be pushed to appeal the decision before it becomes definitive and before it effects a reversal of precedent.
There had been pressure from civil society groups for a new nationality law to be drafted, but the exiting parliament never did it. Politicians most likely would like to see the issue resolved in the parliament instead of the courts, where they will have control over things. Because if there is precedent established for a woman’s right to confer her citizenship in Lebanon, it will be legally very difficult for an exception to be made for Lebanese women married to Palestinians.
It wouldn’t surprise me, then, if this issue were to suddenly become a priority for parliament.