March 2016 Important Case on European Rights


The Supreme Court recently rejected two cases – one involving a 19 year old Polish national who was pregnant and one involving an Austrian man with poor mental health. Both had tried to challenge refusals to support on the grounds that they did not have a right to reside in the UK.

Specifically the Court stated that where an individual was not a worker, self-employed or a student, has no or very limited means of support and no medical insurance, it would severely undermine the purpose of the relevant provisions (in this case the 2004 Directive) if arguments around proportionality could be invoked to entitle people to have the right of residence in another member state except in extreme circumstances. The claimants applications represented precisely what the European Court had said was the aim of the 2004 Directive to stop – namely economically inactive citizens using the host member states welfare system to fund their means of subsistence.

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