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Germany

Deportation of EU Ex-Cons Only in Extreme Cases

German authorities won't have it so easy in the future when they deport EU and Turkish convicts. A court has ruled that foreign German residents may not be automatically sent back home after serving long jail terms.

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German justices ruled that foreign criminals may not be deported

Thanks to a decision by a German court, a 33-year-old Portuguese man can now rest at ease. After serving a three-year jail sentence for dealing drugs, he faced deportation back to Portugal, despite the fact that he had lived extensively in Germany, married and had a child. On Tuesday, a federal administrative court in Leipzig reversed his fate, effectively putting a halt to his imminent deportation by ruling that EU and Turkish foreigners may only be deported after the authorities examine each individual case, taking into consideration the former convicts' behavior since committing the crime.

Even then, they may only deport people in "extreme cases" -- when the ex-cons represent an acute danger to public safety.

The Leipzig decision came in response to an April verdict by the European Court in Luxembourg that ruled the automatic deportation of EU citizens, as laid down in German legislation on foreigners, contradicted their rights to freedom of movement within the 25-member bloc. Thus the German law, which requires authorities to expel foreigners who have been sentenced to jail terms of at least three years or two years if they were convicted of crimes involving drugs, had been overruled.

Bundesverwaltungsgericht in Leipzig

The federal administrative court in Leipzig

In addition to the case of the Portuguese man, the Leipzig court also examined that of a 45-year-old Turk who was facing deportation after serving a 12-year sentence for dealing drugs. The legal experts decided that, on the basis of an association treaty between the EU and Turkey, the ruling would also apply to Turks who reside in Germany.

After assessing the case of two young Turkish brothers convicted of robbery and dealing drugs, the court appealed to Luxembourg to clear up the question of whether and in what cases the children of Turkish workers may loose their right to live in Germany.

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