Norway - Norwegian Supreme Court finds minor’s family life rights violated by States decision to expel mother

Monday, February 9, 2015

The case concerns the judicial review of a decision to expel, issue a re-entry ban and deny family reunification to a Kenyan national who had provided incorrect information about her identity in a previous asylum application. This decision was upheld by the Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board (UNE), notwithstanding that the applicant is a mother and sole carer to a child with Norwegian citizenship. Arguing that the decision to expel would violate the child’s citizenship rights, as the child, reliant on the mother, would be forced to also leave Norway, the applicants further submitted that the decision was disproportionate and breached the child’s right to private and family life (Article 8 ECHR).

In response, the Supreme Court noted that the child is a party to the case, both in the administrative and the court proceedings. Regardless of the fact that the proceedings formally only concern the child’s mother, the child’s rights under Article 8 ECHR are affected by the decision. In this regard the Supreme Court noted that the child’s Norwegian citizenship entitles the child to welfare and health care benefits in Norway. If removal were effectuated and the child forced to leave, there would be far reaching negative consequences on the child’s education and security with a real possibility that both would end up living in Nairobi’s slums. It is with this in mind that the Court rules that expulsion would be disproportionate, breaching the child’s rights to family and private life under Article 8 and is contrary to the best interests of the child. Finding there no need to rule on a breach of Protocol 4 Article 3 ECHR, the Court finds the expulsion and rejection of the family reunification decision to be invalid.

9 February 2015
This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. 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, the IRC or its partners.



Best interest of the child
Child Specific Considerations
Country of origin information
Family reunification
Family unity (right to)