Uner v The Netherlands: ECHR 18 Oct 2006

(Grand Chamber) The court considered the application of article 8 considerations in extradition and similar proceedings, and said: ‘the best interests and well-being of the children, in particular the seriousness of the difficulties which any children of the applicant are likely to encounter in the country to which the applicant is to be expelled; and
– the solidity of social, cultural and family ties with the host country and with the country of destination.’ and
‘The Court considered itself called upon to establish ‘guiding principles’ in the Boultif case because it had ‘only a limited number of decided cases where the main obstacle to expulsion was that it would entail difficulties for the spouses to stay together and, in particular, for one of them and/or the children to live in the other’s country of origin’ . . It is to be noted, however, that the first three guiding principles do not, as such, relate to family life. This leads the Court to consider whether the ‘Boultif criteria’ are sufficiently comprehensive to render them suitable for application in all cases concerning the expulsion and/or exclusion of settled migrants following a criminal conviction. It observes in this context that not all such migrants, no matter how long they have been residing in the country from which they are to be expelled, necessarily enjoy ‘family life’ there within the meaning of article 8. However, as article 8 also protects the right to establish and develop relationships with other human beings and the outside world (see Pretty v the United Kingdom, no.2346/02, [61], (2002) 35 EHRR 1) and can sometimes embrace aspects of an individual’s society identity (see Mikulic v Croatia, No.53176/99, [53], BAILII: [2002] ECHR 27), it must be accepted that the totality of social ties between settled migrants and the community in which they are living constitute part of the concept of ‘private life’ within the meaning of article 8. Regardless of the existence or otherwise of a ‘family life’, therefore, the court considers that the expulsion of a settled migrant constitutes interference with his or her right to respect for private life. It will depend on the circumstances of the particular case whether it is appropriate for the Court to focus on the ‘family life’ rather than the ‘private life’ aspect.
In the light of the foregoing, the Court concludes that all the above factors (see [57]-[59]) should be taken into account in all cases concerning settled migrants who are to be expelled and/or excluded following a criminal conviction.’


[2006] ECHR 873, [2007] INLR 273, [2007] Imm AR 303, (2007) 45 EHRR 14, 46410/99




European Convention on Human Rights 8


Human Rights


ConfirmedBoultif v Switzerland ECHR 2-Aug-2001
The applicant complained under Article 8 that the Swiss authorities had not renewed his residence permit, after which he had been separated from his wife, a Swiss citizen and who could not be expected to follow him to Algeria. Switzerland argued . .
See AlsoUner v The Netherlands ECHR 5-Jul-2005
Where a court considered the expulsion of a non-national who was long settled but had been convicted of criminal offences, the interest and well-being of any child of the family must be considered. . .

Cited by:

CitedNorris v Government of United States of America SC 24-Feb-2010
The defendant faced extradition to the USA on charges of the obstruction of justice. He challenged the extradition on the basis that it would interfere with his article 8 rights to family life, given that the offence was merely ancillary, the result . .
CitedMJ (Angola) v Secretary of State for The Home Department CA 20-May-2010
The applicant had been ordered to be deported and returned to Angola, but at the same time he was a detained mental patient. He argued that a return would breach his Article 8 rights.
Held: The respondent was entitled to decide to deport the . .
CitedQuila and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 12-Oct-2011
Parties challenged the rule allowing the respondent to deny the right to enter or remain here to non EU citizens marrying a person settled and present here where either party was under the age of 21. The aim of the rule was to deter forced . .
CitedHH v Deputy Prosecutor of The Italian Republic, Genoa SC 20-Jun-2012
In each case the defendant sought to resist European Extradition Warrants saying that an order would be a disporportionate interference in their human right to family life. The Court asked whether its approach as set out in Norris, had to be amended . .
CitedSG and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions SC 18-Mar-2015
The court was asked whether it was lawful for the Secretary of State to make subordinate legislation imposing a cap on the amount of welfare benefits which can be received by claimants in non-working households, equivalent to the net median earnings . .
CitedHesham Ali (Iraq) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 16-Nov-2016
The appellant, an Iraqi national had arrived in 2000 as a child, and stayed unlawfully after failure of his asylum claim. He was convicted twice of drugs offences. On release he was considered a low risk of re-offending. He had been in a serious . .
CitedMM (Lebanon) and Others, Regina (on The Applications of) v Secretary of State and Another SC 22-Feb-2017
Challenge to rules requiring certain minimum levels of income (Minimum Income Requirement – MIR) for allowing entry for non-EEA spouse.
Held: The challenges udder the Human Rights Act to the Rules themselves failed. Nor did any separate issue . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Children, Immigration

Updated: 19 July 2022; Ref: scu.401809