THE FACTS

The facts of the case as submitted by the applicant may be summarised
as follows:

The applicant states that he is an Austrian and British citizen. He was
born in Vienna in 1888 and is now living in London.

It appears that the applicant found out in 1970 in connection with
certain compensation proceedings (Verfahren wegen Opferfürsorge) that
allegedly he had lost his Austrian citizenship. He therefore requested
the Local Office of the Vienna Government (Amt der Wiener
Landesregierung) to declare that he was still an Austrian citizen.

By decision (Bescheid) of .. February 1971 this office found that the
applicant had lost his Austrian citizenship according to Article 9,
paragraph 1 (1) of the Austrian Law on Citizenship
of 1945 (Staatsbürgerschaftsgesetz) because he had acquired, in 1948,
British citizenship by way of naturalisation.

The applicant was informed that there was no remedy (Rechtsmittel)
against this decision. However, he requested the Local Office of the
Vienna Government to withdraw the decision (Antrag auf Widerruf). This
request was rejected on .. June 1971. The Office stated that its first
decision had been served on the applicant on .. May 1971 and was final
(rechtskräftig) from that date.

Complaints

The applicant complains that he was deprived of his Austrian
citizenship without even a fair hearing. He alleges a violation of
Article 6 (1) of the Convention.

THE LAW

The applicant has complained that he was deprived of his Austrian
citizenship. However, under Article 25 (1) (Art. 25-1) of the
Convention, it is only the alleged violation of one of the rights and
freedoms set forth in the Convention that can be the subject of an
application presented by a person, non-governmental organisation or
group of individuals. In particular, no right to citizenship is as such
included among the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Convention and
in this respect the Commission refers to its previous decisions on the
admissibility of applications Nos. 288/57, Ann. I, p. 209; 2226/64.

It follows that this part of the application is incompatible ratione
materiae with the provisions of the Convention within the meaning of
Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention.

The applicant has further complained that he was not given a fair
hearing with regard to the proceedings which he instituted in order to
obtain confirmation that he was still an Austrian citizen. He alleged
in this respect a violation of Article 6 (1) (Art. 6-1) of the
Convention. The provisions of this Article, however, apply exclusively
to proceedings which deal with "the determination of ... civil rights
and obligations or of any criminal charge". Accordingly, they do not
apply to the above proceedings instituted by the applicant since they
clearly did not determine a criminal charge brought against him and his
civil rights and obligations were not involved as it is a prerogative
of the State to regulate citizenship and the relevant rules constitute
public law. The proceedings in question, therefore, were of a public
law nature.

It follows that this complaint is also incompatible ratione materiae
with the provisions of the Convention.

For these reasons, the Commission DECLARES THIS APPLICATION
INADMISSIBLE.