Friday 03 February 2023

Council of State rejects minister’s call to stop refugee family reunions

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Council of State has rejected the cabinet’s request to suspend a number of court rulings in which judges have stated the ban on refugee family reunions contravenes various human rights laws.

The government imposed the ban earlier this year in an effort to reduce the number of refugees and to ease pressure on social housing. It applies to all refugees who have been given a residential permit but don’t have a regular place to live.

Several court cases have already been heard and more are pending. In each case so far, the court has ruled in favour of the refugees.

The Council of State said on Thursday it was rejecting the cabinet’s request after weighing up the various interests.

In both cases up for consideration, the council said ‘the interest of the family to reunite earlier outweighs the interest of the junior minister not to implement the court rulings.’

The Council of State, the country’s most senior administrative court, will hear the cabinet’s formal appeal later in January.

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