ECtHR - Gaspar v Russia, Application no. 23038/15, 12 June 2018

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Country of Applicant: 
United States
Date of Decision: 
Gaspar v Russia, Application no. 23038/15, 12 June 2018
Court Name: 
European Court of Human Rights (Third Section)

The European Court of Human Rights finds Russian authorities violated an American national’s Article 8 right to respect for family life, as it had compelled her to leave Russia, where her husband and minor child were living.


The applicant, an American national, had been living in Russia since 2004 on the basis of regularly extended residence permits. In 2005, she married her Russian husband and her daughter was born in 2009.

In 2014, the Russian authorities rejected her application for Russian citizenship and revoked her Residences Permit on national security grounds. As a result of this the applicant had to leave Russia, where her husband and dependant child were living.

Relying on Article 8 ECHR, the applicant complained that the order to leave the Russian territory disrupted her family life and that she was unable to refute the security services’ reports, which had been used in the decisions to remove her, as these were kept secret during the judicial review of their cases.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The court found that that the domestic courts confined the scope of their examination to ascertaining that the recommendation of the Federal Security Service (to revoke the residence permit on national security grounds) had been issued within its administrative competence, without carrying out an independent review of whether their conclusion had a reasonable basis in fact.

Furthermore, the applicant’s representative was not shown the confidential materials on which this recommendation was based. The undisclosed nature of the allegations against the applicant made it impossible for her to challenge the security services’ assertions by providing exonerating evidence, such as an alibi or an alternative explanation.

Therefore, the Court found that the domestic court proceedings concerning the examination of the decision to revoke the applicant’s residence permit – and the effects it had on the family life of the applicant – was not attended by sufficient procedural guarantees, in violation of Article 8 ECHR.


Violation of Article 8. Just satisfaction: 12,500 euros (EUR) (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 1,642 (costs and expenses).

Case Law Cited: 

ECtHR - Dzhurayev and Shalkova v. Russia, no. 1056/15, 25 October 2016

ECtHR - Amie and Others v. Bulgaria, no. 58149/08, 12 February 2013

ECtHR - Buckley v. the United Kingdom, 25 September 1996, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1996-IV

ECtHR - Gablishvili v. Russia, application no. 39428/12, § 37, 26 June 2014

ECtHR - Liu v. Russia (no. 2), application no. 29157/09, 26 July 2011

ECtHR - Mehemi v. France, no. 53470/99

ECtHR - Dalia v. France, Application No. 26102/95

ECtHR - Abdulaziz, Cabales and Balkandali v. the United Kingdom, Application Nos. 9214/80, 9473/81 and 9474/81

ECtHR - Boujlifa v. France, 21 October 1997, § 42, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1997-VI

ECtHR - Boultif v Switzerland, Application No. 54273/00

ECtHR - Liu v. Russia (no. 2), Application No. 29157/09

ECtHR - Slivenko v. Latvia [GC], Application No. 48321/99
Other sources cited: 

On the same day, the ECtHR gave its judgment in Zezev v. Russia (application no. 47781/10) which concerned similar facts to Gaspar and where the Court similarly found that the removal of a Kazakh national on security grounds violated the applicant's Article 8 rights. 

Authentic Language: 
State Party: 
National / Other Legislative Provisions: 
Russia - Federal Law on the Legal Status of Foreigners in the Russian Federation (the Foreigners Act): Section 9(1)(1)
Rusia - Law on the Procedure for Entering and Leaving the Russian Federation
no. 114-FZ of 15 August 1996
as amended on 1 April 2014
(the Entry Procedure Act): Section 27(2)