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Supreme Court of Denmark

Sentencing and expulsion in case concerning robbery 

Case no. 221/2018

Judgment delivered on 19 March 2019

The Prosecution Service

No basis for expulsion of Croatian national who was sentenced to two years in prison for robbery etc.

T, a now 30-year-old Croatian citizen, was found guilty of several offences, including a robbery. The main issues before the Supreme Court concerned his sentence and whether he should be expelled.

The Supreme Court sentenced him to imprisonment for two years and found no basis for expelling him.

With regard to the issue of expulsion, the Supreme Court stated that, according to the Danish Aliens Act, T should be expelled unless this would with certainty be in contravention of Denmark’s international obligations. However, he could only be expelled if this was in accordance with the principles applicable under the EU rules on restrictions of the right to free movement.

The Supreme Court also stated that the decision of whether it would be contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights to expel T depended on whether it would be a disproportionate restriction of his right for private and family life based on a proportionality assessment in that particular case. In this assessment, regard should be had to the facts that T was born and raised in Denmark, and that he lives there with his partner and three minor children. His partner and children are Swedish citizens, do not speak Croatian and have no ties to Croatia. Accordingly, it would be very difficult for them to follow him to Croatia if he were to be expelled. In addition, importance should be given to the fact that he has no real ties to Croatia.

Against this background, the Supreme Court found that despite the gravity of T’s offences and his criminal career, which had, however, not previously given rise to a claim for expulsion, expelling him would be a disproportionate restriction of T’s right for private and family life.

The Supreme Court thus upheld the High Court’s ruling that expulsion would with certainty be contrary to the ECHR and therefore also in breach of EU law.

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