Finland: Supreme Administrative Court rules that deportation order would be disproportionate to applicant’s right to family life

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

On 9 June 2020, the Supreme Administrative Court published its judgment (KHO: 2020: 67) on the deportation of an applicant, of Kurdish ethnicity, to Iraq.

The applicant arrived in Finland at the age of 16 and was granted a residence permit in 2012 on the basis of subsidiary protection. He later married a Finnish citizen, with whom he had a child in 2018. The applicant is alleged to have facilitated the irregular entry of an individual across the Swedish border and his expulsion was subsequently ordered for his criminal conduct. He complained that his deportation would be disproportionate on the basis of the private and family life he had established in Finland. The Administrative Court had previously concluded that his deportation would not amount to a violation of his Article 8 ECHR right to family life, nor would the principle of the best interests of the child require that he not be deported.

On appeal, the Supreme Administrative Court noted that the overall assessment concerning the applicant’s deportation must, firstly, take account of the nature of the alleged criminal activity and, secondly, the applicant’s personal circumstances, which include, inter alia, his established family life; whether the decision is in the best interests of the child; other ties established in Finland; and the overall effort made to integrate. In light of this, the SAC concluded that the applicant’s expulsion is not regarded as complying with the principle of proportionality under Article 8 ECHR. It therefore annulled the decisions of the Finnish Immigration Service and Administrative Court and ordered that the applicant not be deported.

Based on an unofficial translation by the EWLU team. Photo: Andrea Barisani, December 2006, Flickr (CC)

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.                               

Family unity (right to)