Butt v. Norway

European Court of Human Rights
4 December 2012


The applicants were a brother and a sister who were born in Pakistan and arrived in Norway with their mother in 1989, at ages 3 and 4. In 1992, they returned to Pakistan for several years. In 1995, the Norwegian authorities granted them a settlement permit, not knowing about their stay in Pakistan. In 1999, the residence permits were withdrawn on the ground that the permit had been granted on the basis of false information about the applicants residence in Norway. In 2001, the children were apprehended for deportation to Pakistan, but the deportation was halted as their mother was missing and they had no contact with their family in Pakistan. In 2003, one applicant was convicted of criminal offences, in light of which another expulsion order was issued. The applicants challenged the expulsion. In 2005, the mother was expelled to Pakistan, where she died.


The applicants alleged that their deportation from Norway to Pakistan would entail a violation of their right to respect for private and family life (Article 8).

Courts ruling

The Court considered that the applicants had been living in Norway from an early age and had developed strong family and private life ties to Norway, and their links to Pakistan were not particularly strong. The applicants had received the essential part of their education and upbringing in Norway and mastered the Norwegian language. Regarding the criminal offence of one applicant, the Court noted that his conviction concerned one incident of aggravated violent assault, and the applicant had not reoffended since. In conclusion, the Court found that the State had not struck a fair balance between public interest in ensuring effective immigration control and the applicants interests in remaining in Norway to pursue their private and family life. Accordingly, the Court found that the applicants deportation would entail a violation of Article 8.

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Last updated 12/06/2024