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Supreme Court of Denmark

Parent reunification, cf. S. 9c(1) of the Danish Aliens (Consolidation) Act 

Case no. 136/2007
Judgment 29 August 2008
ECHR article 8

A and B
The Danish Ministry of Refugee, Immigration and Integration Affairs

No basis for setting aside the Ministry of Integration's refusal to reunify an adult son and his mother

In May 2003, A, whose only child, B, had been granted a residence permit in 2001 as a de facto refugee from Iraq, applied for "family reunification to son" in accordance with S. 9c(1) of the Danish Aliens (Consolidation) Act. In the application form, A stated that she had been staying in Syria for one year and four months at the time when the application was submitted. In addition, a statement from the Council of Iraqi Tribes provided that A had entered Syria in January 2002. In 2002, B's wife and children in Jordan had applied for family reunification with B, which was granted in March 2003. In its decision of 27 July 2005, the Ministry of Integration endorsed the Danish Immigration Service's refusal to grant a residence permit to A, as it was not found that A and B had any association beyond their actual kinship.

A and B brought the Ministry's decision before the High Court. Among other things, B explained to the High Court that his wife and children had applied for family reunification from Jordan, but had subsequently travelled to Syria, where they had cohabited with A, who had lived in Syria since 2003. A and B submitted to the High Court that the Ministry's decision was wrong as it did not appear from the decision whether the Ministry had considered the affiliation between A and B's household.  

The High Court ruled that on the evidence it had to base its decision on the fact that A entered Syria in January 2002. The Supreme Court then upheld that the legislative history behind S. 9c(1) of the Danish Aliens (Consolidation) Act implies that a residence permit must be granted in cases where refusal to reunify a family would be in contravention of Denmark's international obligations. However, the legislative history does not contain any special comments regarding reunification of adult children with their parents. As there was no basis for concluding that the refusal to reunify A and B would be in contravention of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the right to respect for family life, and as there was otherwise no basis for ruling that the Ministry's decision was incorrect, the Supreme Court gave judgment in favour of the Ministry.

The Supreme Court thus affirmed the judgment of High Court.

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