Today, the District Court of Middelburg rendered its judgment in the first court case concerning the lawfulness of the measure by which the Dutch government had suspended the possibility of family reunification by a maximum of six months.
The case concerned a political refugee from Turkey and reunification with his wife and very young children. They are represented by lawyer Eva Bezem. According to the court, a delay in family reunification as agreed upon by the Dutch government in the so-called ‘asylum deal’, violates Dutch law, European directives and international human rights treaties.
The limitation at issue only concerns family reunification for status holders and not other forms of family reunification. The court however, held that limiting family reunification only for status holders is discriminatory. The court ordered the state secretary to issue a visa for the family within one week, so that they can travel to the Netherlands as quickly as possible and be reunited as a family.
Several articles on the verdict are available here (in Dutch):
- ‘Rechter in bodemprocedure: nareisbeperking van vluchtelingen onrechtmatig’, NRC (22 december 2022)
- ‘Rechter fluit kabinet weer terug: uitstel gezinshereniging statushouders mag niet’ nl (22 december 2022)
- ‘Opschorting gezinshereniging asielzoekers sneuvelt in drie rechtszaken’, NOS (22 december 2022)
The verdict by the district court is available here (in Dutch).