Germany: Federal Constitutional Court halts deportation of a beneficiary of international protection to Greece

Monday, May 8, 2017

The German Federal Constitutional Court has ruled that a decision by the Administrative Court of Minden rejecting the appeal of an asylum seeker against an inadmissibility decision based on the fact that he had been granted international protection in Greece was unconstitutional. In practice, the Federal Constitutional Court halted the transfer of the applicant to Greece.
The claimant is a Syrian refugee who had been granted international protection in Greece and had entered Germany in July 2015. In December 2015, he applied for asylum in Germany and had his asylum application rejected as inadmissible as he had been previously granted refugee status in Greece. The claimant appealed against the inadmissibility decision to the Administrative Court (VG) Minden, which rejected his appeal in December 2016, stating that Article 3 ECHR had not been violated and that a discrimination of refugees vis-à-vis Greek nationals could not be proven based on the available sources. The VG Minden also rejected two pleas by the plaintiffs who argued that the sources provided in his appeal where not sufficiently taken into consideration. On 23 January 2017, the claimant lodged a constitutional complaint.
The Constitutional Court found that the principle of effective legal protection required the executive to substantively examine all potentially infringing acts, and that the decision taken by the Administrative Court had not satisfied these requirements as it did not take into due consideration other sources than the European Commission Recommendation to reinstate Dublin transfers to Greece of 8 December 2016. It decided that the Administrative Court had not properly considered if the requirements under Article 34 Qualification Directive (access to integration facilities) are fulfilled in Greece, especially with regard to how access to shelter, food and sanitary facilities would be safeguarded for recognised refugees returned to Greece at least in the first period after their arrival. In conclusion, it found the decision of the Administrative Court unconstitutional as a proper consideration of other sources could potentially result in a more favourable judgment for the claimant.
This article is based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. We would like to thank Leonie Jegen, Communications Assistant at ECRE, for her collaboration with this translation. 

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Inadmissible application
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Material reception conditions
Reception conditions