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Supreme Court of Denmark

Imprisonment of Romanians pending expulsion 

Case nos. 212-215/2018

Orders made on 16 May 2018   

A and others
National Police, Denmark

Imprisonment pending expulsion of Romanians who had set up camp at Nikolaj Church, the City Court of Copenhagen and Scandia Hotel was lawful

In June 2017, four Romanian citizens agreed to be fined summarily for violation of the Danish Executive Order on Public Order for having set up camp at Nikolaj Church, the City Court of Copenhagen and Scandia Hotel, respectively, with mattresses, duvets, blankets and their belongings. The Danish Immigration Service decided to expel the four Romanians who had just arrived in Denmark. The case before the Supreme Court concerned the lawfulness of the civil imprisonment under the Danish Aliens Act.

The Supreme Court held that the Romanians’ conduct represented a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting fundamental interests of society. The regard for public policy, which is protected under Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 (the Residence Directive), and the violation at issue in this case in combination with the violations of the Executive Order on Public Policy committed shortly before that time were not random nor had a limited adverse effect, but were rather regarded as being systematic behaviour on the part of the Romanians who were staying in Denmark to work as bottle collectors. Since the Romanians had no ties to Denmark, it was not in contravention of the principle of proportionality in the Residence Directive to expel them and ban them from entry for two years. The Supreme Court also held that the imprisonment was necessary to secure the possibility of expulsion, as less intrusive measures were not sufficient based on the information on the Romanians.

The High Court had reached the same conclusion.

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