Applicant name X.
Applicant type Natural person (immigrant)
Country Switzerland
Decision no. 7031/75
Date 12/07/1976
Institution Commission
Type Decision
Outcome Art. 8 Inadmissible
Reason No interference
Type of privacy Family privacy
Keywords Ratione temporis; Immigrant’s marriage; expulsion
Facts of the case German man lives, works and marries in Switzerland. When he loses his job, he is forced to leave Swiss territory.
Analysis The case is interesting for a number of reasons:

1. Most matters of the applicant complains of have take place before Switzerland joined the Convention. Still, the Commission believes that it has jurisdiction because the effects of those matters (the fact that he cannot live in Switzerland) continue untill after this period. That means that the Commission feels that in principle, countries should revisit all laws, legal decisions and administrative dealings in place and bring them in conformity with the Convention. It is doubtfull wether this is in line with the original intention of the authors of the Convention.
2. The Commission repeats that citizens have no right, under the Convention, to live in the country they desire, but that being ousted may interfere with a person’s family life.
3. However, in its early jurisprudence, the Commission is still very strict. First, if both partners can live in another country, in this case Germany, there will be no interference with their family life. The fact that they have lived in a certain country for considerable time or that one of the spouses is born in that country is no determinative. Second, it is up to the applicant to proof that they are not able to live in that other country; consequently, it seems as if the Commission places the burden of proof on the applicant.
4. Interstingly, the Commission and the Court, in their early case law, refer to the existence of a family life under Article 8 ECHR, but only later accepted that immigrants without a spouse that were being expelled could suffer from an interference with their right to privacy, referring to the notion of private life (e.g. when they had lived in a certain country and had their personal and social life their). In this case, the Commission already hints towards a potential interference with applicants private life. ‘However, the applicant has in no way proved that the fact of having to leave Switzerland amounted to an interference with his private life and an obstacle to his married life. In particular, he has not explained for what reason his wife was prevented from joining him in the Federal Republic of Germany in order to render married life possible.’

Documents Decision