Italy: Court support for crime risk Morocco deportation

Human rights judges say Italian authorities were right to deport to Morocco, Mohamed Narjis, a 20 year resident, whom they feared was a crime risk.

In today’s Chamber judgment1 in the case of Narjis v. Italy (application no. 57433/15) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

no violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The applicant, Mohamed Narjis, is a Moroccan national who was born in 1979 and lives in Morocco.

Narjis was admitted to Italy in 1989 under a family reunion procedure. His father had obtained a residence permit as an itinerant trader.

On the father’s death in 2009 his trading activities were taken over by Narjis’s mother and one of his sisters.

In 1995, Narjis dropped out of school and began to take drugs. He remained in Italy on the basis of renewable work permits. His police record has 19 entries, including some convictions, in particular for aggravated theft and armed robbery.

In January 2010, while he was imprisoned following a conviction for a robbery, Mr Narjis applied for the renewal of his residence permit. His application was twice turned down by the Milan Head of Police, in March and July 2010, on the grounds of the danger posed to society.

In its judgement, the European court decided to examine Narjis’s complaint under the “private life” limb of Article 8 on the grounds that the applicant’s situation – as an unmarried 39-year-old adult with no children, who had no specific bonds of dependency with his family members (all of whom were adults) – did not fall within the ambit of “family life” protected by Article 8 of the Convention.

The court held that the national courts, which had specifically referred to Article 8, had taken all the circumstances into account in weighing up Narjis’s interest in the protection of his private life against the State’s interest in protecting public order, in application of the criteria laid down by the court.

In particular, it noted that, in view of the applicant’s criminal record, his regular use of drugs and his apparent inability to integrate into professional life, the Italian authorities had had legitimate grounds to doubt the solidity of his social and cultural ties with the host country.

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