Breaking Chinese Law – Making European One: The Story of Chen, Or: Two Winners, Two Losers, Two Truths
B Davies and F Nicola (eds) EU Law Stories, Cambridge University Press, 2017, pp. 178-200
19 Pages Posted: 18 May 2015 Last revised: 7 Mar 2018
Date Written: May 12, 2015
Based on the legal-historical contextual analysis of EU citizenship law surrounding the case of Zhu and Chen, as well as the interviews with the key lawyers involved in the case, this contribution reconstructs the story behind this landmark decision of EU law. This is done to demonstrate the importance of the facts behind cases and allows presenting Chen in a totally new light, compared with how it is reported in virtually all the textbooks. Unlike what has been frequently reported, this is a case of a very affluent family seeking to avoid the penalising effects of the one-child policy in China, rather than a case of poor migrants seeking a better life in Europe. This research demonstrates with clarity the numerous misconceptions surrounding the UK’s handling of immigration cases, the reasons behind the Irish constitutional amendment abolishing ius soli, as well as many a drawback in the reporting of the key cases in Europe. Our main claim is simple: knowing the context is indispensable for the sound analysis of the law. The story of little Catherine is a wonderful illustration of this.
Keywords: Zhu and Chen, EU law, EU citizenship, citizenship, dependence, family reunification, ius soli, one child policy, China, law in context
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