Once a criminal, always a threat?

According to Dutch policy and case law the fact that there are ‘serious reasons for considering’ a person guilty of crimes defined in Article 1F Refugee Convention implies that his personal conduct is deemed forever to constitute a ‘genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society’ in the meaning of the Citizenship Directive. This conclusion is usually reached without any individual assessment of the nature of his or her present conduct, since it is assumed that the exclusion under Article 1(F) conveys in itself a presumption of the individual constituting a direct threat to the Dutch public order and security, which are interests protected by Article 27 Citizenship Directive. This leads the Dutch authorities to not only deny to the applicant the international protection provided by the Refugee Convention, but also any other type of residence permit. This applies even to EU citizens and their family members who want to make use of their freedom of movement and residence. This expert opinion concludes that this Dutch policy and case law are not in conformity with EU law.

Migration Law Clinic_Once a criminal, always a threat_July 2016 final version

The disctrict court of Middelburg has referred preliminary questions to the CJEU on this topic. On 2 May 2018 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled in joined cases C‑331/16 and C‑366/16 concerning the right to free movement of persons, who have been excluded form refugee status on the basis of Article 1F of the Refugee Convention. See our news post for more information about the judgment.

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