European Court of Human Rights
A.A. v. Russia (no. 35675/16), communicated 13 September 2016
On 13 September 2016, the European Court of Human Rights communicated the case of A.A. v. Russia (no. 35675/16), which relates to the removal of a stateless person of Palestinian origin from Russia to Syria. The applicant submitted an application to the ECtHR complaining that his rights under Articles 2, 3, and 13 ECHR had been violated.
The Court’s questions to the parties raise issues relating to the applicant’s pending removal, detention and effective remedies.
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N.K. and Others v. Russia (no. 19980/16), communicated 16 September 2016
On 16 September 2016, the European Court of Human Rights communicated the case of N.K. and Others v. Russia (no. 19980/16). The case relates to the detention and removal of Syrian nationals from Russia to Syria. The applicants submitted an application to the ECtHR complaining that their rights under Articles 2, 5 and 4 Protocol 4 ECHR had been violated.
The Court’s questions to the parties raise issues relating to the applicants’ pending removal, detention and effective remedies.
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Y.L. v. Switzerland (no. 53110/16), communicated 15 September 2016
On 15 September 2016, the European Court of Human Rights communicated the case of Y.L. v. Switzerland (no. 53110/16), which relates to the pending removal of a Chinese national from Switzerland to China. The applicant submitted an application to the ECtHR complaining that, on account of her membership to the Eastern Lightning Church, she would be subjected to treatment in violation of Article 3 ECHR if returned to China.
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CJEU: Request for a preliminary ruling (urgent procedure) from the Supreme Court of Republic Slovenia, 13 September 2016
The Supreme Court of Republic Slovenia has referred a request for preliminary ruling to the CJEU on the interpretation to be given to Articles 13(1) and 27 of the Dublin III Regulation. The applicant in this case entered Croatia in February 2016 and travelled through a crossing point to Serbia. He was returned to Croatia, where the authorities did not deny his entrance, effect return proceedings or given him regular entry, but did organise transport to the Slovenian border. The case is therefore based on a challenge to a decision to transfer the applicant under Article 13(1) of the Dublin III Regulation in circumstances where the Croatian authorities had effectively allowed the applicant entry on the territory and facilitated his movement onwards.
The Supreme Court has referred five questions to the Court of Justice of the EU:
- Does the remedy referred to in Article 27 of Regulation 604/2013 also apply to the interpretation of conditions in Article 13 (1), when the Member State has decided that it will not consider the application for international protection and the other Member State accepted the responsibility for examination of the application for international protection and the applicant opposes it?
- Should the condition of irregular border crossing in Article 13 (1) of Regulation 604/2013 be interpreted independently and autonomously or in connection with point 2 of Article 3 of Directive 2008/115 and Article 5 of Schengen Border Code, which define irregular border crossing?
- In line with the answer to the second question, should the concept of irregular border crossing in Article 13 (1) of Regulation 604/2013 in the circumstances of this case be interpreted as meaning that it is not an irregular crossing of a border if the Member State’s authorities organise the border crossing with the purpose of transit to another EU Member State?
- If the answer to the third question is affirmative, should Article 13 (1) of Regulation 604/2013 be interpreted in the sense that it prevents the return of the third country national to the State where he or she first entered the EU territory?
- Should Article 27 of Regulation 604/2013 be interpreted to mean that deadlines under Articles 13 (1) and 29 (2) are suspended when the applicant is exercising the right to a remedy, in particular when it includes preliminary questions or when the national court is waiting for an answer from the Court of Justice of the EU for such a question? Alternatively, does the time limit apply but the responsible Member State as a consequence gives up the right to deny the transfer?
The ELENA Weekly Legal Update would like to thank Zoja Bajzelj LL.M for this translation.
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UNHCR and IDC developed a Vulnerability Screening tool for asylum and migration systems
UNHCR and the International Detention Coalition (IDC) have published a Vulnerability Screening tool on identifying and addressing situations of vulnerability in the context of asylum and migration procedures and systems.
The tool is intended to help guide and inform frontline workers and decision makers on the relevance of vulnerability factors to detention decisions, referrals to alternatives to detention, open reception facilities, community-based placement and support options.
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Belgium: CALL annuls Dublin return decision to Austria
In an appeal against the decision by the Belgian State Secretary for Asylum to refuse asylum status and return an Afghan national to Austria as a consequence of the Dublin III Regulation, the Council on Alien Law Litigation (CALL) declared the State Secretary’s decision void on 25 August 2016. The CALL based its decision on the fact that returning the Afghan asylum seeker to Austria would be in breach with Article 3 ECHR and the principle of due diligence.
The Council used the AIDA article Austria: Bundesasylamt suspends processing of new asylum applications and the AIDA report Navigating the Maze: structural barriers to accessing protection in Austria to conclude that the State Secretary had not sufficiently inquired about the consequences for Dublin returnees after the Austrian suspension of processing their applications and was thereby in breach of article 3 ECHR.
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AIDA/ECRE: New legal briefing on the length of asylum procedures
The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) has published a new legal briefing on the length of asylum procedures. The briefing analyses the transposition and implementation of time limits as set out in the recast Asylum Procedure Directive for completing the regular asylum procedure, special procedures applicable to specific caseloads, as well as appeals against negative decisions. Overall, European practice confirms the non-binding character of procedural deadlines, which do not seem to be followed by asylum authorities in most cases.
Based on the AIDA article dated 29 September 2016, available here.
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ECRE: Comments on the Commission Proposal to recast the Reception Conditions Directive
ECRE has published its Comments on the Commission proposal to recast the Reception Conditions Directive, laying down standards for the reception of asylum seekers in the European Union.
ECRE welcomes the improvements proposed by the Commission with regard to clearer, more protective definition of material reception conditions and standards applicable to all forms of accommodation, both relating to regular and exceptional reception measures taken by Member States. The provisions on contingency planning, access to the labour market and identification of special reception needs are equally positive as a general step.
On the other hand, ECRE raises severe concerns as to the restrictive and punitive measures aimed at addressing secondary movements. ECRE therefore urges the Council and the European Parliament to pragmatically assess how best to address the problem of secondary movements, by exploring incentives and ensuring that problems of poor implementation of reception standards are not attributed as moral blame on those seeking protection.
Based on the ECRE article dated 6 October 2016, available here.
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ECRE: Comments on the Commission Proposal for a Dublin IV Regulation
ECRE has published its Comments on the Commission Proposal for a Dublin IV Regulation, laying down the criteria and mechanism allocating responsibility between EU Member States
ECRE identifies two characteristics of serious concern in the Dublin IV proposal. On the one hand, far from rethinking the fundamentally flawed principles underpinning the EU’s mechanism for allocating responsibility for asylum applications across the continent, the proposal reinforces many of the mechanism’s flawed premises. With some limited exceptions such as broader family reunification possibilities through the expansion of the definition of family members, asylum seekers face stricter and unfair rules, likely to further undermine their trust in the CEAS.
Member States, for their part, would see their distribution inequalities heavily exacerbated under the Dublin IV Regulation: countries of first entry would be required to conduct admissibility and merit-related assessments before applying the Regulation, face perpetual responsibility and have no means of relief from their obligation when a transferring country is not complying with time limits for transferring an applicant.
While providing detailed input on the various provisions of the proposed recast, ECRE urges co-legislators to adopt a holistic, pragmatic review of the Dublin system, and to engage with deeper, bolder reform options going beyond the proposals made by the Commission.
Based on the ECRE article dated 7 October 2016, available here.
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Registration Open – Advanced ELENA Course: The Rights of Refugees, 2 and 3 December in Berlin
The Advanced ELENA Course: The Rights of Refugees will take place on Friday 2 December and Saturday 3 December 2016. The Course will be held in the NH Berlin Mitte Leipziger Strasse hotel in Berlin, Germany.
This year the Advanced ELENA Course aspires to provide an engaging forum for legal practitioners and decision makers to discuss, analyse and reflect upon the legal avenues that can be used in order to advance the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. There will also be an examination of how exclusion and cessation clauses are applied. Finally, the course will focus on recent European jurisprudence on asylum law and the new roles of EU border and asylum agencies.
Interested participants should register by Monday 7 November 2016 to secure a place. However, given the limited places available, interested persons are recommended to reserve their place as soon as possible.
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Registration Open – Separated Children in Judicial Proceedings, 27 and 28 October 2016 in Brussels
The Separated Children in Judicial Proceedings project will hold its event “Exploring the use and application of European and International Mechanisms for the protection of vulnerable and separated children” on 27 and 28 October 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. The event will be hosted by the Committee of the Regions.
The event will focus on the mechanisms at European and international level in cases concerning separated children.
Interested participants should provisionally register by 7 October 2016 to secure a place. However, given the limited places available, interested persons are recommended to reserve their place as soon as possible.
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