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Vulnerability and the right to respect for private life as an autonomous source of protection against expulsion under Article 8 ECHR

Da Lomba, Sylvie (2017) Vulnerability and the right to respect for private life as an autonomous source of protection against expulsion under Article 8 ECHR. Laws, 6 (4). ISSN 2075-471X

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Abstract

This paper focuses on settled migrants and calls for the construction of the right to respect for private life as an autonomous source of protection against expulsion under Article 8 ECHR. I contend that, as a core part of human existence, private life warrants meaningful protection. I posit that the fact that all settled migrants have established private life in the host State brings it to the fore of Article 8 expulsion cases. This argument finds strong support in the concept of belonging and transnational migration theory; both tell us that settled migrants' host State has become their 'own country'. Drawing on earlier work, I reclaim vulnerability as a foundation and tool of International Human Rights Law with a view to recognising migrants within the jurisdiction of ECHR States as fully-fledged ECHR subjects and making the European Court of Human Rights responsive to their vulnerability. I make the case for absolute protection against expulsion for second (and subsequent)-generation migrants and settled migrants who have spent most of their adult life in the host State. In respect of other settled migrants, I argue that the minimum protection standard should be that expulsion is only justifiable in exceptional circumstances