24 October 2014

New ECtHR judgment regarding implementation of the Dublin system

On 21 October 2014, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issues a judgment in the case of Sharifi and Others v. Italy and Greece. The ECtHR found that there had been several violations of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) on account of collective expulsion by the Italian authorities of Afghan migrants, who were then deprived of access to the asylum procedure in Greece.

The ECtHR held, in particular, that it shared the concerns of several observers with regard to the automatic return on the basis of the Dublin system, implemented by the Italian border authorities in the ports of the Adriatic Sea, of persons who, in the majority of cases, were handed over to ferry captains with a view to being removed to Greece, thus depriving them of any procedural and substantive rights.

In addition, the ECtHR reiterated that the Dublin system must be applied in a manner compatible with the ECHR: no form of collective and indiscriminate returns could be justified by reference to that system, and it was for the State carrying out the return to ensure that the destination country offered sufficient guarantees in the application of its asylum policy to prevent the person concerned being removed to his country of origin without an assessment of the risks faced.

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Source: ECtHR | Arrêt Sharifi et autres c. Italie et Grèce - Refoulement de migrants afghans d'Italie en Grèce | requête no. 16643/09 | Communique de presse | CEDH 304 (2014) | 21 October 2014

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