ECtHR ruled that there would be a violation of Article 8 if a Kosovar national were to be expelled

In the case of I.M. v. Switzerland (application no. 23887/16, 09.04.2019) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there would be a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights if the applicant I.M. were to be expelled to Kosovo.

The case concerned the Swiss authorities’ refusal to renew the residence permit of I.M and the order expelling him from Swiss territory, following his conviction for a rape committed in 2003. The applicant is a Kosovar national who has lived in Switzerland since 1993. I.M. was married to a Swiss national and obtained a residence permit on the basis of that marriage. I.M., whose rate of disability has been assessed at 80%, is currently living in Switzerland with his adult children, on whom he is dependent.

Relying on Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), the applicant complained about his expulsion order from Swiss territory. He emphasized the lack of any risk of his reoffending, as well as his health problems and the fact that he was dependent on the care provided by his relatives in Switzerland.

The Court found in particular that the Federal Administrative Court, when adjudicating in 2015 – that is to say more than 12 years after the offence committed by the applicant – had not taken account of the change in the applicant’s behavior or assessed the impact of the major downturn in his state of health on the risk of his reoffending. Nor had the Federal Administrative Court taken into consideration the strength of the applicant’s social, cultural and family bonds with the host country (Switzerland) and the country of destination (Kosovo), or carried out a sufficiently thorough analysis of the implications of I.M.’s dependence on his adult children. The domestic authorities had thus conducted a superficial examination of the proportionality of the expulsion order and had failed convincingly to demonstrate that it was proportionate to the legitimate aims sought to be achieved (the prevention of disorder or crime) and necessary in a democratic society. There would consequently be a violation of Article 8 if I.M. were to be expelled.

References from the official website of the European Court of Human Rights