Key facts of the case:
The Supreme Court (Vrhovno sodišče Republike Slovenije, VS RS) reviewed whether the right for respect of private and family life had been sufficiently considered when adopting the decision on the plaintiff’s removal from the Republic of Slovenia. Due to the appellate nature of the revision procedure at the Supreme Court (VS RS), almost no data on principal facts of the case are available in the explanatory part of the Order. However, the plaintiff evidently did not posses any valid identification document and no legal basis for his residence in Slovenia existed. From the Order and the subsequent judicial decision (Judgement of the Administrative Court I U 438/2014) one may deduce that the plaintiff used a forged travel document in official marriage proceedings. For this reason, he was convicted for forgery with a final judgement. As a consequence, he has been unable to obtain a residence permit and he has been issued a return decision in accordance with Art. 64 Aliens Act (Zakon o tujcih). In addition to the decision on his removal, he was prohibited from re-entering Slovenia for a period of two years. He argued that this interfered with his right to private and family life as his wife resided in Slovenia.
Outcome of the case:
In light of the lack of assessment by the Court of First Instance whether the inteference with the right to private and family life is appropriate and proportionate, the Supreme Court, pursuant to the first paragraph of Article 93 of ZUS-1, granted the review and set aside the judgment under appeal and remitted the case to the first-instance court for a new trial. The Court of First Instance will have to remedy these shortcomings in the retrial.
31. While assessing the proportionality of an interference in balance with the right to respect for private and family life, the guidelines that derive from the legal order of the European Union have to be considered.(Fn. 9) The recitals to Directive 2008/115/EC among other things emphasise the importance of considering the right to family life in proceedings regarding illegally residing third country nationals. From the viewpoint of the questions raised by the present case, the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council 2004/38/EC of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States is also relevant as it emphasises that a Member State – while reviewing the proportionality of measures – has to take account of, in particular, the length of their residence in the host Member State, their age, state of health, family and economic situation and the links with their country of origin.
32. According to the assessment of the Supreme Court, the plaintiff’s allegations that neither the administrative bodies nor the court of first instance reviewed the proportionality of the interference with the plaintiff’s right to private and family life in a manner as required by the case law of the ECtHR, the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Constitutional Court, was substantiated. Fn. 9: The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union defines the right to respect for private and family life. Any limitation on the exercise of the rights and freedoms recognised by this Charter must be provided for by law and respect the essence of those rights and freedoms (Art. 52 of the Charter).
31. Pri presoji sorazmernosti posega v pravico do spoštovanja zasebnega in družinskega življenja pa je treba upoštevati tudi smernice, ki izhajajo iz pravnega reda EU.(op. 9) Že uvodne določbe Direktive 2008/115/ES med drugim poudarjajo pomen upoštevanja družinskega življenja v postopkih vračanja nezakonito prebivajočih državljanov tretjih držav. Z vidika vprašanj, ki jih odpira obravnavana zadeva, pa je pomembna tudi Direktiva Evropskega parlamenta in Sveta 2004/38/ES z dne 29. aprila 2004 o pravici državljanov Unije in njihovih družinskih članov do prostega gibanja in prebivanja na ozemlju držav članic, ki v uvodnih določbah poudarja, da mora država članica pri presoji sorazmernosti posega v pravico do zasebnega in družinskega življenja upoštevati zlasti, koliko časa je tujec prebival na njenem ozemlju, njegovo starost, zdravstveno stanje, družinske in ekonomske razmere, socialno in kulturno vključenost v državo članico gostiteljico ter obseg njegovih vezi z izvorno državo.
32. Po presoji Vrhovnega sodišča je utemeljen revizijski očitek, da ne upravna organa ne sodišče prve stopnje niso presojali sorazmernosti posega v revidentovo pravico do zasebnega in družinskega življenja, na način, kot bi jo glede na prakso ESČP, Sodišča Evropske Unije in Ustavnega sodišča, morali. Op. 9: Listina Evropske Unije o temeljnih pravicah v 7. členu opredeljuje pravico do spoštovanja zasebnega in družinskega življenja. Kakršno koli omejevanje uresničevanja te pravice mora biti predpisano z zakonom in mora spoštovati bistveno vsebino te pravice, ob hkratnem spoštovanju načela sorazmernosti (prvi odstavek 52. člena Listine).