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FI: Supreme Administrative Court annulled disproportionate expulsion decision with regard to balancing public interest and family life, best interest of the child and integration in Finland

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Other Source/Information:
Referral to the CJEU
Original Documents
Relevant Legislative Provisions
European Convention on Human Rights;
Finland, Supreme Administrative Court [Korkein hallinto-oikeus], A (Iraq) v Finnish Immigration Service, FI:KHO:2020:67, 09 June 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EUAA Case Law Database.
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Case history
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According to Yearbook decisions:

A had committed a crime while in Finland and the Finnish Immigration Service (FIS) had deported A to his country of origin, Iraq. The case concerned the overall consideration of expulsion and, in particular, the assessment of the importance of the best interests of the child and the protection of family life in relation to A's criminal activities.

A had arrived in Finland at the age of 16 in 2009. In 2012, he had been granted a residence permit on the basis of subsidiary protection for the period from 11 June 2012 to 11 June 2016.

A had married a Finnish citizen on 13 April 2017. A and her spouse had a child born in 2018 who was in joint care of her parents. A spoke Finnish and had completed comprehensive school in Finland and later a basic degree in building technology. A had worked alongside his studies.

The District Court had sentenced A. in 2015 to a 30-day suspended prison sentence, for arranging illegal entry. The district court's judgment revealed that A had illegally brought one person to Finland via the Tornio border crossing point from Sweden, where the person in question had travelled illegally in his own passenger car. A was also guilty of two counts of endangering road safety in 2016.

A's expulsion was due to him committing crimes. The Supreme Administrative Court ruled that arranging illegal entry was a relatively severely punishable offence, based, among other things, on Finland's obligations to control the external border between the European Union and the Schengen area.

However, his relatively long stay in Finland, his close family and other ties with Finland and his active efforts to integration into Finnish society were reasons against A's expulsion.

The Supreme Administrative Court took into account, on the one hand, A's criminal offences and the nature of the crime, on the one hand, and the protection of family life, the best interests of the child and A's desire to integrate into Finnish society, on the other hand, and considered that the issues against expulsion were heavier in the weighing. Moreover, the expulsion of A in those circumstances was not to be regarded as in accordance with the principle of proportionality or the requirement of necessity and proportionality as provided by Article 8 of the ECHR. Consequently, the Supreme Administrative Court considered that A should not be ordered to be expelled and banned from entering the country and annulled FIS and Administrative Court decisions on expulsion and entry ban.

The Supreme Administrative Court reasoned its judgement by referring to ECtHR caselaw: M.P.E.V. and Others vs Switzerland, 08/07/2014 and Jeunesse v Netherlands, 03/10/2014.

Country of Decision
Court Name
FI: Supreme Administrative Court [Korkein hallinto-oikeus]
Case Number
Date of Decision
Country of Origin