In Slivenko v Latvia the court considered the effect on family life of immigration decisions particularly in relation to the deportation and the denial of family unity for persons already lawfully in the state. The children were daughters of a Russian officer who had lived in Latvia almost all their lives. The father moved to Russia, and they contested the deportation from Latvia on the basis of long-established residence and established personal social and economic ties with Latvia. It was held that deportation was not proportionate.
Sen v. the Netherlands The applicants are a couple of Turkish nationals and their daughter, who had been born in Turkey in 1983 and who her mother left in her aunt’s custody when she joined her husband in the Netherlands in 1986. The parents complained of an infringement of their right to respect for their family life, on account of the rejection of their application for a residence permit for their daughter, a decision which prevented her from joining them in the Netherlands. They had two other children, who were born in 1990 and 1994 respectively in the Netherlands and have always lived there with their parents.
Being required to determine whether the Dutch authorities had a positive obligation to authorise the third applicant to live with her parents in the Netherlands, having regard, among other things, to her young age when the application was made, the Court noted that she had spent her whole life in Turkey and had strong links with the linguistic and cultural environment of her country in which she still had relatives. However, there was a major obstacle to the rest of the family’s return to Turkey.
The first two applicants had settled as a couple in the Netherlands, where they had been legally resident for many years, and two of their three children had always lived in the Netherlands and went to school there. Concluding that the Netherlands had failed to strike a fair balance between the applicants’ interest and their own interest in controlling immigration, the Court held that there had been a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for family life) of the Convention.
In Iletmis v Turkey a Turkish national who had settled in Germany with his wife and family was arrested on return to Turkey on a family visit. His passport was retained, and he was subsequently acquitted. His wife and family returned to Turkey. The retention of his passport was disproportionate as freedom of movement across borders is essential to the full development of a person’s private life in particular person family professional and economic ties in several countries.
Mugenzi v. France, Tanda-Muzinga v. France and Senigo Longue and Others
v. France concerned the difficulties encountered by the applicants – who were either granted refugee status or lawfully residing in France – in obtaining visas for their children so that their families could be reunited. The Court observed in particular that the procedure for examining applications for family reunification had to contain a number of elements, having regard to the applicants’ refugee status on the one hand and the best interests of the children on the other, so that their interests as guaranteed by Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the Convention from the point of view of procedural requirements were safeguarded. In all three cases, the Court held that there had been a violation of Article 8 of the Convention.
In AA V UK the applicant came to the UK from Nigeria aged 13 and was convicted of rape aged 15. A deportation order over seven years later after completing education. was held to be disproportionate where he had established strong family ties and family life.