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Boultif v. Switzerland

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The Court established guiding principles in order to examine whether an expulsion which caused difficulties for the spouses to stay together and in particular for a spouse and/or children to live in the other's country of origin was necessary in a democratic society and so permissible under Article 8. The Court would consider the nature and seriousness of the offence committed by the applicant; the length of the applicant's stay in the country from which he was going to be expelled; the time elapsed since the offence was committed as well as the applicant's conduct in that period; the nationalities of the various persons concerned; the applicant's family situation, such as the length of the marriage; and other factors expressing the effectiveness of a couple's family life; whether the spouse knew about the offence at the time when he or she entered into a family relationship; and whether there were children in the marriage, and if so, their age. Not least, the Court would also consider the seriousness of the difficulties which the spouse was likely to encounter in the country of origin, though the mere fact that a person might face certain difficulties in accompanying her or his spouse could not in itself exclude an expulsion.


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