Jeunesse v The Netherlands: ECHR 3 Oct 2014

(Grand Chamber) Although the applicant had married and had three children while her immigration status in the Netherlands was precarious, there were exceptional circumstances such that a fair balance had not been struck between the competing interests involved: the husband and three children were all citizens of the Netherlands with the right to enjoy family life there; the applicant had lost her Dutch nationality when Suriname became independent and not through her own choice; she had been living in the Netherlands for 16 years and had no criminal record; although there were no ‘insurmountable obstacles’ to the whole family settling in Suriname, they would experience a degree of hardship if forced to do so; and the Dutch authorities had paid insufficient attention to the problems the children would face in either having their whole lives disrupted by a move to Suriname or being separated from their primary carer. In the circumstances, it was ‘questionable whether general immigration policy considerations of themselves can be regarded as sufficient justification for refusing the applicant residence in the Netherlands’
‘Where children are involved, their best interests must be taken into account. . . On this particular point, the Court reiterates that there is a broad consensus, including in international law, in support of the idea that in all decisions concerning children, their best interests are of paramount importance. . . Whilst alone they cannot be decisive, such interests certainly must be afforded significant weight. Accordingly, national decision-making bodies should, in principle, advert to and assess evidence in respect of the practicality, feasibility and proportionality of any removal of a non-national parent in order to give effective protection and sufficient weight to the best interests of the children directly affected by it.’
12738/10 – Grand Chamber Judgment, [2014] ECHR 1036, ECLI:CE:ECHR:2014:1003JUD001273810, (2015) 60 EHRR 17
European Convention on Human Rights 8
Human Rights
Cited by:
JudgmentJeunesse v The Netherlands (Legal Summary) ECHR 3-Oct-2014
ECHR Article 8-1
Respect for family life
Refusal to grant residence permit on ground of family life despite existence of exceptional circumstances: violation
Facts – The applicant, a Surinamese . .
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These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 11 February 2021; Ref: scu.537564