ECtHR decision in Palanci v. Switzerland, Application No. 2607/08, 25 March 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The ECtHR has ruled that the refusal in 2007 to extend the Turkish Applicant’s residence permit in Switzerland and his consequent expulsion in 2008 struck a fair balance between the interests of public order and safety on the one hand and the Applicant’s right to a family life on the other. The Applicant had lived for 18 years in Switzerland prior to expulsion, and is now back with his wife and children in Switzerland with a new residence permit. He complains about the interference with his Article 8 right to family life in the intervening period, from 2007-8 to February 2013.

The ECtHR concluded that the interference was justified and proportionate for the following reasons: (1) the Applicant had committed 19 offences from 1995 to 2005, including a serious incident of domestic violence against his wife, a considerable accumulation of debts and failure to pay maintenance to his family following a separation from his wife between 1999 and 2004; (2) these offences were committed notwithstanding the warnings of immigration authorities about the risk of expulsion; (3) ‘the Applicant’s continuously growing debts and his failure to pay his family maintenance’ were grounds for saying that ‘the Applicant lacked the necessary diligence and responsibility in financial and professional matters’; (4) for part of the 18 year stay, his residence status was uncertain; (5) the Applicant spent his childhood in his native Turkey, with which he has cultural and family ties; (6) he separated and lived apart from his wife from 1999 to 2004, and ‘grossly neglected’ maintenance duties to his children; (7) his expulsion to Turkey had not impeded his family life, as contact from a distance was possible; (8) his wife and children could have relocated to Turkey without contravening the best interests of the children; (9) the Applicant was able to visit his family at least once during the expulsion period; (10) he is now lawfully resident in Switzerland, rendering the interference temporary.

Read the judgment of the ECtHR.

28 March 2014

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Family unity (right to)
Residence document