Reconstructing the European Court of Human Rights’ Article 8 Jurisprudence in Deportation Cases: The Family’s Right and the Public Interest

Abstract

This article rationalises the case law of the European Court of Human Rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in deportation cases involving children. The Court engages in a balancing exercise between the right to family life of the deportee’s family on the one side, and the public interest in deportation on the other. This article expands on existing case law analysis by suggesting that in deportation cases, the Court considers Article 8 as a form of commonly held right, rather than an individual right held by one member of the family. Furthermore, the balance is argued to be constructed as a relationship between two factors on both sides, rather than of a sole factor on either side as being determinative. This article concludes that the best interests of the child (one of the ‘Üner criteria’) is not adequately reflected in the Court’s deportation decision-making practice.