On 5 February, the Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court, having reviewed in assignment sitting a cassation complaint filed by an applicant against a judgement of the Administrative district court in the case regarding forced expulsion of an individual from the Republic of Latvia, rejected to initiate cassation proceedings, recognising judgement of a district court as lawful and reasoned.  Along with decision of the assignment sitting, judgement of the first instance court, by which an application on invalidation of the decision of the State Border Service was rejected, became effective. The decision of the Supreme Court may not be appealed.

In the decision of the assignment sitting, the Supreme Court pointed out that the district court considered significant circumstances in the case and provided its assessment to them. Namely, the court not only established that the decision appealed was adopted in accordance with regulation of the Immigration Law, but also entered into considerations related to human rights. The European Court of Human Rights consistently recognised that the state has right to control foreigners’ entry and stay in its territory.  

In case reviewed, the decision of the State Border Service is a closing stage in a range of several decisions.  Proceedings started with a decision of the Minister of Interior, who, grounding on provision of the Immigration Law, included the applicant in the list of individuals, who are prohibited to entry Latvia. Under appeal procedure, the Prosecutor General amended this decision, agreeing to grounds that the minister decides on including of a foreigner in the list, if competent state authorities have reason to find that the foreigner creates threat to state security or social order and security.

The Supreme Court got acquainted with both letters of the Constitution Protection Bureau indicated in the decision of the Minister of Interior and decisions adopted by the minister and the Prosecutor General. In case being reviewed, foregoing information and decisions are not to be re-assessed, but it follows from them that competent authorities established within procedure established in the law that the applicant creates threat to Latvian state security and social order, and endangers security of Schengen area countries. Thus, both lawful reason and legitimate purpose of expulsion of the applicant must be established.

When responding to the argument of the applicant that he established certain social tie with Latvia – he has stayed in Latvia for nine years and his spouse has been the citizen of Latvia,  the court considered that one should observe the circumstance that the applicant does not have a good command of Latvian and his child is placed under his mother’s (divorced spouse of the applicant) daily guardianship, but not under that of the applicant. Interference with private life of the applicant is proportionate in this case and is necessary in democratic society, as unambiguous information on threat to the state security due to applicant’s stay in Latvia was received. The applicant and his child, and his spouse do not have legal and actual obstacles to meet in the country, whose citizen he is. The European Court on Human Rights recognised that any state has right to control foreigners’ entry and stay in its territory and that Article 8 of the European Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms may not be looked at as a guarantee for granting residence permit of certain kind. The case also does not include evidence on relations between the applicant and his child and involvement of the applicant to bringing the child up. There is only information, which is pointed out in the decision appealed, namely, that in 2002 already, when staying in Russian Federation, the applicant gave his consent so that the child would travel to Latvia together with child’s mother. So he agreed that he and his child would live in different countries.

In the cassation complaint, the applicant also pointed out that his right to life (Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights) and prohibition of torture (Article 3 of the Convention) may be violated in result of his expulsion. The Supreme Court recognised that the district court had assessed this argument.  The court established that neither the applicant, nor his defence counsel pointed out this circumstance before expulsion. The applicant was provided assistance of the defence counsel since the very beginning. Thus, there are no reasonable doubts that the applicant had any obstacles to know his rights and to inform state authorities about all essential circumstances. Moreover, information included in a case file regarding applicant’s regular travelling to the Russian Federation makes to come to a conclusion that the applicant does not perceive any threats to his life and health. 

Information prepared by Baiba Kataja, the Press secretary of the Supreme Court
Telephone: 67020396; e-mail: baiba.kataja@at.gov.lv