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Mejoff Vs Director Of Prisons

Facts

Boris Mejoff, a Russian, was captured as a Japanese spy by the US Army Counter
Intelligence Corps on March 18, 1948. He was turned over to the Phil Commonwealth
Government for appropriate disposition. His case was decided on by the Board of
Commissioners of Immigration who declared him as an illegal alien. The Board ordered
his immediate deportation. In the meantime, we was placed in prison awaiting the ship
that will take him back home to Russia. Two Russian boats have been requested to bring
him back to Russia but the masters refused as they had no authority to do so. Two years
passed and Mejoff is still under detention awaiting the ship that will take him home.

This case is a petition for habeas corpus. However, the respondent held that the Mejoff
should stay in temporary detention as it is a necessary step in the process of exclusion or
expulsion of undesirable aliens. It further states that is has the right to do so for a
reasonable length of time

Issue

Whether or not Mejoff should be released from prison awaiting his deportation.

Ruling

The Supreme Court decided that Mejoff be released from custody but be placed under
reasonable surveillance of the immigration authorities to insure that he keep peace and
be available when the Government is ready to deport him. In the doctrine of
incorporation, the Philippines in its constitution adops the generally accepted principles
of international law as part of the law of Nations. Also, the Philippines has joined the
United Nations in its Resolution entitled “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” in
proclaiming that life and liberty and all other fundamental rights shall be applied to all
human beings. The contention that he remains a threat of to the security of the country
is unfounded as Japan and the US or the Phils are no longer at war.

THE NOTTEBOHM CASE


Liechtenstein v. Guatemala

FACTS: Friedrich Nottebohm, born September 16, 1881 in Hamburg, Germany,


possessed German citizenship. Although he lived in Guatemala from 1905 until 1943 he
never became a citizen of Guatemalan. on *October 9, 1939, Nottebohm applied to
become a naturalized citizen of Liechtenstein! The application was approved and he
became a citizen of Liechtenstein. He then returned to Guatemala on his Liechtenstein
passport and informed the local government of his change o$ nationality. Then he tried
to return to Guatemala once again in 1943 he was refused entry as an enemy alien since
the Guatemala authorities did not recognize his naturalization and regarded him as still
German. It has been suggested that the timing of the event as due to the recent entry
of the united States and Guatemala into the Second world war. He was later extradited
to the United States, where he was held at an internment camp until" the end of the war!
All his possessions in Guatemala were confiscated. After his release, he lived out the
rest of his life in Liechtenstein. The Government o$ Liechtenstein granted Nottebohm
protection against un2ust treatment by the government of Guatemala and petitioned the
international" Court of justice! However, the government of Guatemala argued that
Nottebohm did not gain Liechtenstein citizenship for the purposes of international law.
The court agreed and thus stopped the case from continuing.

Issue

whether or not Nottebohm is a citizen of Liechtenstein, therefore entitled to diplomatic


protection.

HELD

Although the Court stated that it is the sovereign right of all states to determine its own
citizens and criteria for becoming one in municipal law, such a process would have to be
scrutinized on the international" plane where the question is of diplomatic protection!
The Court upheld the principle o$ effective nationality, (the Nottebohm principle)
where the national must prove a meaningful connection to the state in question! This
principle as previously applied only incases of dual nationality to determine which
nationality should be used in a given case. However Nottebohm had forfeited his
German nationality and thus only had the nationality of Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein
considers itself to be acting in conformity with this principle and contends that
Nottebohm is its national" by virtue of the naturalization conferred upon him