Right to family life

Concerning J.R.B vs Denmark for violation of articles 7, 17 and 23 of CCPR.

The author served as an officer in the Ugandan army during the rule of Idi Amin. The author had been detained and tortured which made him flee to Denmark where he was granted asylum and then issues a permanent residence permit. The author then married a Tanzanian national. Together with the author’s daughter from a former marriage, his wife united with him in Denmark. She has meanwhile become a Danish citizen and has two children with the author.

By judgment of 23 April 2002, the Copenhagen City Court convicted the author of drug-related offenses and sentenced him to two years and six months’ imprisonment. It also ordered the author’s expulsion from Denmark, finding that such expulsion would not amount to a violation of the right to family life, and permanently barred him from re-entering Denmark.The Immigration Service did not object to the prosecutor’s claim to expel the author, despite the latter’s loose ties with his Ugandan family and the fact that he had not returned to Uganda since 1981. Thus a complaint was sent to CCPR.

The Committee takes note of the author’s argument that his wife and children live in Denmark under stable and reliable conditions and would, therefore, not be able to follow him, if he were to be expelled to Uganda. While it may well be that the author’s expulsion would constitute a considerable hardship for his wife and children the Committee notes that the State party has sought to justify its interference with the author’s family life by reference to the nature and severity of the author’s offenses. The Committee considers that these reasons advanced by the State party are reasonable and sufficient to justify the interference with the author’s family life.The Committee, therefore, concludes that the author’s expulsion, if implemented by returning him to Uganda, would not amount to a violation of his rights.

24. March 2020

CCPR 1222/2003
  • Decision: 9. December 2004
  • Comm: Human Rights