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Supreme Court of Denmark

Expulsion Expulsion for assisting in illegal entry into Denmark 

Case no. 97/2019

Judgment delivered on 15 November 2019

The Prosecution Service

Not contrary to Denmark’s international obligations to expel an alien, a minor at the time of the crime, for assisting in illegal entry into Denmark

The case concerned whether T, who was sentenced to 30 days’ imprisonment for violating Section 59(8)(1) of the Danish Aliens Act by, in collusion with others, having assisted an alien in illegally entering Denmark, should be expelled with a six-year entry ban.

At the time of the crime, T was 17½ years old, and she is now almost 20. She had no criminal record. She had lived in Denmark since June 2016 and had her mother and 18-month-old daughter in this country. She was born in Syria and had lived there until the age of 10 or 11. She had attended school in Syria for six years, and she understood and spoke Kurdish and Arabic, among other languages. T’s father was presumably residing in Syrian, as was her paternal grandfather, but she had explained that she had no contact with either of them.

The Supreme Court stated that T was a minor at the time of the crime, though close to the age of majority. As she explained to the District Court, she had taken an active part in the offence. The purpose of the provision on assisting in illegal entry in Section 59(8)(1) of the Aliens Act is to protect the Danish State’s ability to control immigration to Denmark, and, as a general rule, violation of this provision carries a sentence of imprisonment, also when the crime was not committed for the sake of gain. T lived about half her life in Syria where she was born and spent a large part of her childhood. Considering the fact that she has family in Syria and is able to speak and understand relevant languages, she was not assumed to be unable to fit into society if returned to her home country. Neither she nor her daughter could be regarded as having been integrated into Danish society, as she only had legal residence in Denmark for a short period of time.

Under these circumstances and based on an overall assessment, the Supreme Court held that expulsion of T would not be contrary to the requirement for proportionality in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The High Court had reached the same conclusion.

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