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Sweden: Citizenship of Son Not Enough to Prevent Deportation of Suspected Terrorist

(Mar. 6, 2014) On December 20, 2013, the Swedish Administrative Supreme Court denied an application for judicial review by a man threatened with deportation. (Säkerheten väger tyngre än svensk medborgares kärnrättigheter – terrormisttänkt utvisas [Security Heavier than a Swedish Citizen’s Core Rights – Terror Suspect to Be Deported], DAGENS JURIDIK (Jan. 30, 2014); Högsta Förvaltningsdomstolens beslut [Supreme Administrative Court Decision], Målnr 3806-13.) The decision not to review his case effectively meant that he will be deported due to the fear that he might commit terrorist attacks if allowed to stay in Sweden. (Säkerheten väger tyngre än svensk medborgares kärnrättigheter – terrormisttänkt utvisa, supra.)

The man first came to Sweden in 2009 and was denied residency, a decision he appealed first to the Appellate Migration Court and later to the Swedish government. Both affirmed the Migration Office’s decision to deport him. (Id.) He appealed the government’s decision to the Administrative Supreme Court, which has now found that he has no right to judicial review or a new trial. (Id.)

The man has sole custody of his son, who is a Swedish citizen. This fact was recognized by the dissenting judge, who argued that the son’s Swedish citizenship warranted the man’s right to judicial review of his case. The dissenting judge further argued that in effect the decision to deport the man will deprive the child (a 15-year old boy) of realizing his rights as an EU citizen. (Supreme Administrative Court Decision) The majority of the Court’s judges did not, however, find that the interest of the child was great enough to warrant judicial review, especially considering the security aspects that warranted deportation of the man. (Högsta Förvaltningsdomstolens beslut, supra.)

Prepared by Elin Hofverberg, Foreign Law Research Consultant, under the supervision of Edith Palmer, Chief, Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Division II.