France – National Court of Asylum rules in a case of cessation of refugee status

Friday, September 14, 2018

On 14 September, the French National Court of Asylum decided on a case concerning the cessation of a Bangladeshi national’s refugee status, after he obtained an official document from his home country. 

The applicant had been recognized as a refugee since 2011, but his status ceased in 2016, by virtue of a decision issued by the Director of the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA). As the applicant had obtained a Bangladeshi driving license, he was deemed to have accepted the protection of his home country. The basis for that decision was the cessation clause of re-availment, found in Article 1 C (1) of the Refugee Convention of 1951. The voluntary nature of the applicant’s act and the lack of any imperative need to obtain such a document were weighed against the need for international protection.

The applicant, however, stated that a driving license was a regular employment requirement and he only communicated with the authorities by phone, while he was in France, in order to find how a third person could obtain that document on his behalf. The Court noted that the applicant’s presence in France at the time of the issuance of the document, as well as his wife, rather than himself, being the person who obtained the document in Bangladesh, are decisive factors in the consideration of cessation under Article 1 C (1).

Moreover, the fact that his wife had bribed the Bangladeshi authorities, in order to secure an uneventful interaction, further convinced the judges that the applicant is not actually enjoying the protection of his home country. Therefore, the Court restored the applicant’s refugee status, after confirming that his case did not fall under any other cessation or exclusion clause.

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

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.



Cessation of protection