Cases violating ICCPR art 12(4) (2)

Note that committees can record actual or potential violations.

No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.

ICCPR art 12(4)

Nystrom v Australia (HRC, 2011)

Remedy's assessment: Partially remedied

Stefan Nystrom was born in Sweden and entered Australia when only 27 days old. His family assumed he was a naturalised Australian. Mr Nystrom began hearing voices in childhood and has suffered psychiatric symptoms throughout his life. From the age of ten, he began offending, usually under the influence of alcohol. At the age of 30, seven years after his last offence, during which time he had been law-abiding, steadily employed and recovering from his alcoholism, Mr Nystrom’s permanent visa was cancelled on character grounds. An appeal to the Federal Court found him to be ‘an absorbed member of the Australian community with no relevant ties elsewhere’. The Immigration Minister appealed successfully to the High Court. Mr Nystrom was deported to Sweden in 2009 and has since been homeless, in homeless shelters, in prison and in psychiatric care. The HRC found Mr Nystrom’s deportation constituted arbitrary interference with his right to family and his ‘right to enter his own country’, which is Australia. Further, his expulsion was arbitrary – occurring so long after his offending. He should be permitted and materially assisted to return to Australia. Australia has refused to allow Mr Nystrom back into Australia, but says it has made policy reforms to guard against repetition.

Read more on Nystrom v Australia.

S. v Australia (HRC, 2023)

Remedy's assessment: Unremedied

Ms S., an Australian national, submitted a communication on behalf of her husband, Mr B, a national of North Macedonia, who had lived in Australia since the age of 3. Due to Mr B’s substantial criminal record, the Assistant Minister for Immigration cancelled Mr B’s visa and deported him to North Macedonia. The Committee found that Australia breached article 12(4) – the right to enter one’s own country.

Read more on S. v Australia.