The European Court of Human Right ruled that the exclusion of same-sex couples from family-reunification is discrimination banned by the European Convention of Human Rights.
In today’s Chamber judgment1 in the case of Pajić v. Croatia (application no. 68453/13) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been: a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) taken in conjunction with Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned the complaint by a national of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who is in a stable samesex relationship with a woman living in Croatia, of having been discriminated against on the grounds of her sexual orientation when applying for a residence permit in Croatia. The Court found in particular that Ms Pajić had been affected by a difference in treatment between different-sex couples and same-sex couples introduced by the Aliens Act, which reserved the possibility of applying for a residence permit for family reunification to different-sex couples. The Croatian Government had not shown that that difference in treatment was necessary to achieve a legitimate aim or that it was justified by any other convincing reason.