Administrative deportation

By Atyab Al-Shatti

Administrative deportation is a decision taken by an authority to permanently expel an expatriate from Kuwait without the need to support it with legal grounds or investigations. The decision is taken under the sole discretion of the administration.

A deportation decision can be either imposed by a public authority, known as administrative deportation, or imposed as a penalty along with other penalties like fines by a judge through a court verdict against an expat who commits punishable violations, known as judicial deportation. An expat is more likely to challenge judicial deportation and succeed in removing this penalty by appealing the verdict, which is in this case will be reviewed by the higher court, which will decide whether to keep or lift the deportation decision from the penalties.

In many cases where deportation was one of the penalties imposed against an expatriate, the appeal court succeeded to lift the deportation order and rule with justice for the individual who deserved it, considering every human has the right to defend themselves against fraudulent and falsified accusations and retaliation that could be pressed by people who misuse the law.

But administrative deportation is an unchallenged decision based on the sole discretion of the administration, which shall impose the penalty against whoever they find eligible to be deported, without having to justify this decision with legal aspects and investigations. In administrative deportation, the individual does not have access to justice to challenge the decision or even to reach out to the judicial system to appeal the decision or explain their defense and prove their innocence in order to amend the decision.

Decree bylaw no. 20/1981 in article 1, paragraph 5, states that residency and deportation matters of non-Kuwaitis are not subject to judicial oversight, and therefore the administrative court is not competent to consider disputes related to administrative deportation of non-Kuwaitis. It is a decision made by the administrative authority for reasons such as public interest, public security or public morality, or if the foreigner does not have an apparent means of subsistence in accordance with article 17 of the expatriate residence law no. 17 of 1959. The order to deport the foreigner may include members of their family.

Administrative deportation in some cases may not reflect the reality of the accusations imposed against the expat, as many cases including running a red traffic light is cause for administrative deportation and a reason to cut ties with a person who wishes to stay and earn a living.

The main legal gap and shortfalls with administrative deportation lies in the fact that the administrative court is not competent to oversee such a decision, so it cannot be appealed and an expatriate cannot present their defense. Also, no legal grounds are needed for such a deportation as it’s based on the sole discretion of the administration.


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