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In re Duchy of Sealand

Administrative Court of Cologne
Case No. 9 K 2565/77 (1978)


Facts

The Duchy of Sealand was a former British military platform eight nautical miles off the coast, in international waters. The platform was 1300 square meters and was held up by concrete pillars that connected to the seabed. Great Britain abandoned the platform after World War II, and people began living on it. The platform had 106 inhabitants, including 30–40 permanent residents. The plaintiff, originally a German citizen, received a document granting him citizenship of the Duchy of Sealand. The plaintiff asked Germany (defendant) for a citizenship determination. Germany determined that the plaintiff had not lost his German citizenship, because the Duchy of Sealand was not a “state” under international law. The plaintiff brought suit, seeking a judgment that he had lost his German citizenship.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

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