Belgium – CALL suspends Dublin transfer of vulnerable applicant to Greece

Monday, October 1, 2018

On 1 October, the Belgian Council on Alien Law Litigation has issued an order suspending the transfer of a Cameroonian national to Greece.

The applicant applied for international protection in Belgium in August 2018, but a Eurodac hit indicated that she had first entered Europe through Greece. A take-back request was sent to Greece by the Belgian authorities, to which Greece promptly agreed. In September, the applicant was presented with an order to leave Belgium.

An application to suspend the transfer was lodged before the CALL, according to a procedure of extreme urgency. The applicant claimed, inter alia, that her vulnerable state, as a victim of gender-based violence, will be further exacerbated upon her return to Greece. The Council accepted the urgent character of the action and proceeded to assess prima facie the conditions of serious grounds and risk of irreparable harm that would justify the annulment of the contested act. According to the Council, the invocation of a possible violation of ECHR rights cannot impede it from assessing the seriousness of the case, even if the description has been erroneous or imprecise.

In this assessment, the applicant’s particular vulnerability was deemed to be crucial, while the elements of the file pointed to deplorable conditions in Greece and two incidents of abuse, leading to a prima facie established vulnerability. The grounds, therefore, have to be considered as serious, in light of Greece’s lack of adequate response mechanisms for victims of gender-based violence. According to ECtHR case law, the impact on the applicant’s health, which a Dublin transfer may entail, should be of central importance to any relevant considerations. The decision suspended the order to leave Belgian territory and ordered the release of the applicant from the Bruges closed centre.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. Many thanks to Tristan Wibault, ELENA Coordinator for Belgium.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.




Dublin Transfer
Vulnerable person