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Accepted Paper:

Constructing and deconstructing kinship in Finnish court cases on arranging illegal immigration for relatives  
Taina Cooke (The University of Oulu)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the Finnish court cases in which illegal immigration is arranged for family members. The law can consider the impact of 'close family ties' in convicting for the act but as the evaluation is dependent on a case-by-case evaluation, kinship opens to a multitude of interpretations.

Paper long abstract:

The arrangement of illegal immigration has increased in number significantly over the past years in Finland. Drawing from a set of court cases on illegal immigration, this paper considers the making and unmaking of kinship in legal deliberations. Finnish courts comply with the UN regulations (Palermo Convention, Smuggling Protocol) in their assessments on migrant smuggling and can dismiss the indictment if the act was committed "for humanitarian reasons or on the basis of close family ties" (A/55/383/Add.1: 16). However, while Finnish courts can account for the impact of family ties when assessing cases regarding the arrangement of illegal immigration, it is not clear what counts as close family relations referred to in the law. Underlining the overall elusiveness of kinship in legal deliberations, this paper examines how kinship is argued and evaluated by twenty Finnish courts among 178 separate cases. First, it considers biological, on one hand, and socio-cultural, on the other, in defining appropriate kinship, and concludes that the courts stress a history of co-habitation over a biological bond. Second, it examines the impact of cultural ideals regarding suitable family relations when the courts rule on the significance of kinship in the cases of illegal immigration.

Panel P066
The impact of law on transnational families' staying, moving and settling
  Session 1 Wednesday 15 August, 2018, -