Refugee situations inevitably lead to the separation of families fleeing a country in which they are no longer safe. Thus, it may seem surprising that the main instruments of international refugee law make minimal mention of the family as a subject of protection. This Comment is intended to show that regardless of the absence of direct family rights protections for refugees in the Convention on the Status of Refugees, various other international instruments in combination, as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights in particular, have established a right of family reunification for refugees. The European Court of Human Rights has developed a balancing test, weighing the state's right to control its borders against the family's interest in family unity, to determine whether family reunification is required by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The refugee fulfills this balancing test, given the necessary implications of refugee status under the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the factors upon which the European Court of Human Rights has put weight in family reunification cases. The substantial similarity between Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and family unity provisions in other human rights instruments of more general application provides reason to find the European Court of Human Rights is persuasive in shaping the right to family reunification generally. By relying on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights rather than more narrowly tailored family reunification provisions found in human rights instruments, this Comment will show that the right to family reunification extends to all refugee families.
"Refugee Family Reunification Rights: A Basis in the European Court of Human Rights' Family Reunification Jurisprudence,"
Chicago Journal of International Law:
1, Article 15.
Available at: http://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cjil/vol15/iss1/15