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Nationality Law No. 1970-86 of Algeria (1970) – 6: Proof and Litigation in Contentious Proceedings


Article 31

The onus of proof in matters of nationality lies on the individual who, by an action or by raising an objection, claims that he or another individual possesses or does not possess Algerian nationality.

Article 32

If Algerian nationality is claimed on grounds of birth, then it may be proven through the descent of two ancestors, on the paternal side, who were born in Algeria, and who lived there under the status of Muslims.

The nationality may be proven by any means and especially by possession of status.

The possession of the status of an Algerian national results from combination of public, widely renown and unequivocal facts, that prove that the person concerned and his parents have acted as Algerians and that they have been regarded as such by the public authorities as well as by private individuals.

The previous provisions do not affect the rights, which result from the acquisition of Algerian nationality on a legal basis.

Article 33

If the acquisition of Algerian nationality results from a decree, then proof of this will be furnished through presentation of an official copy of the decree or a simple copy, which the Minister of Justice handed out.

If Algerian nationality is deduced from an agreement, then the proof must be in accordance with this agreement.

Article 34

The proof of Algerian nationality may be furnished by the presentation of a nationality certificate from the Minister of Justice or the competent authorities.

Article 35

The loss of Algerian nationality, in cases provided for under sub-articles 1, 2 and 3 of Article 18 occurs upon the presentation of the document or its official copy which causes this to occur.

If the loss results from a declaration of renunciation, as provided for under Article 17 sub-article 3, then the proof shall be furnished by a certificate from the Minister of Justice, which will certify the validity of the declaration of renunciation.

The deprivation of Algerian nationality is proven by the presentation of a document, or its official copy, which pronounces the deprivation.

Article 36

In case of litigation, the proof of whether or not a person possesses Algerian nationality may be given by way of an authenticated copy made by the court of law which last handled the case.

Contentious Proceedings

Article 37

The courts are exclusively competent to make decisions in the case of contention of Algerian nationality.

If such contention arises by objection in front of other courts, then these courts should suspend the proceedings, until a decision has been reached by the local competent court, which meets in the month in which the decision regarding the suspension was made, and the party who objects to Algerian nationality should be informed; otherwise the objection shall be ignored.

The judgements of the courts on rescission of Algerian nationality may be appealed against.

If, in certain cases, the interpretation of international agreements is needed, then the interpretation by the Department of Public Prosecution is to be requested at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The interpretation hereby given is binding in the courts.

Article 38

A civil action may be brought by anyone who is mainly and directly interested in a judgement on whether the individual concerned possesses Algerian nationality or not. The civil suit is to be directed at the Department of Public Prosecution, notwithstanding the right to intervention by third parties.

The Department of Public Prosecution is exclusively competent to raise a civil action against someone, whose sole and direct purpose is to discover if the defendant possesses Algerian nationality or not. It must raise a civil action if this was requested by an administrative body.

Article 39

Rescissions in matters of nationality are pleaded and decided upon according to the rules of ordinary procedure.

The Department of Public Prosecution must always be present and must make written proposals.

If the proposal refers to a single person then it will be issued in two copies by the Minister of Justice

The Department of Public Prosecution is required to hand in its proposals within the time limit of two months beginning on the date of their issuance. After the submission of the proposals or after the expiration of the two month period a decision shall be made on the basis of the defendant’s written documents.

Article 40

The legal judgements and conclusions on matters of nationality which fulfill the conditions provided under Articles 34 to 39, are made bona fide and are enforceable against anyone since they are legally binding.

Next: Chapter 7 – Special Provisions