France – Council of State elaborates on time limits for Dublin transfers

Monday, September 24, 2018

 On 24 September, the French Council of State decided on a case concerning an Eritrean asylum seeker that lodged an application for international protection in France after having made an application in Italy. In this case, the Italian administrative authorities implicitly accepted a take-charge request from the French authorities, as they didn’t act in the two weeks deadline set by Article 25 (1) of the Dublin Regulation.

The French Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes department issued two orders, dated 18 May 2017, for the transfer of the asylum seeker within the 6-months deadline provided under Article 29 of the Regulation. However, the Council of State notes that the 6-months deadline was interrupted by an appeal made by the asylum seeker against the orders. Consequently, a new six-month period began from the dates of the appellate judgments, dated 2 June 2017, that annulled the Prefect’s orders. The Council of State indicated that the expiration of this new 6-month period resulted in Italy being released from its obligation to take charge of the applicant, pursuant to Article 29(2) of the Regulation.

Moreover, the June judgments were subsequently annulled by the Marseille Administrative Court of Appeal in early April 2018, following an appeal made by the Prefect for the Alpes-Maritimes. Following this ruling, a new application by the appellant was not registered by the administrative authorities on 20 April 2018. In this context, the Council held that the domestic authorities wrongly refused to register the asylum application of the appellant, as the 6-month period had already expired and France was now responsible for the examination of this application. It thus concluded that France is obliged to register his asylum application and to grant him provisional stay and relevant documentation within 15 days from the notification of this decision.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update.


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Dublin Transfer
Responsibility for examining application