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Materials

23 September 2003

European Court of Justice clarifies the right of free movement of third country family members of EU

Release issued by: Nicolas Rollason,  partner at the London law firm Kingsley Napley

 

Judgement of the Court of Justice in Case C-109/01 Akrich- 23.09.03

In its judgement of 23 September 2003, the ECJ considered the position of Mr Akrich, a Moroccan citizen, who had resided in the UK illegally and was married to a British Citizen. He and his wife had moved to Ireland and after having lived and worked there, sought to return to the UK under the special rules for EU workers returning to their own country with their family members, which were clarified by the Court in the case of Surinder Singh.

In a worrying development, the Court seems to have decided that non-EU family members of EU nationals could only benefit from the free movement rights if they were lawfully in the country of nationality of the EU citizen before they and their EU spouse moved to another EU Member State. 

The decision seem to conflict with previous decisions of the Court, for example in MRAX and seems to raise more questions than it answers. A fuller critique of the judgement will be posted on the site in the near future.

To read the  full text of the judgement please CLICK HERE. (In doing so you will be leaving the EILN site)