Germany: Higher Administrative Court cancels removal of international protection beneficiary to Greece

Thursday, January 21, 2021

On 21 January 2021, the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine Westphalia published its judgment concerning the removal of an Eritrean national to Greece.
The applicant made an application for international protection in Germany in July 2018. A EURODAC search revealed that the applicant had previously received international protection in Greece in January 2015. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees subsequently rejected the applicant’s asylum application as inadmissible and issued a deportation order against him to Greece. The applicant unsuccessfully appealed to the Administrative Court. The applicant further appealed to the Higher Administrative Court.  

Referring to, inter alia, the CJEU’s judgment in Ibrahim, the Higher Administrative Court, stated that Art. 33(2)(a) of the Procedures Directive (Directive 2013/32/EU) is transposed into domestic law in such a way as to prohibit the rejection of an application for international protection as inadmissible when an applicant has already received refugee status or subsidiary protection in another Member State, if the living conditions in that Member State would expose him to a serious risk of inhuman or degrading treatment under Article 4 of the Charter or the corresponding Article 3 ECHR. It further recalled that the CJEU assumes a violation of Article 4 of the Charter if the indifference of the authorities of a Member State would have the effect of placing a person wholly dependent on public assistance, irrespective of their will or personal choices, in a situation of extreme material poverty which would not allow him to satisfy his most basic needs- in particular the ability to feed himself, to wash himself and to find accommodation.

On the basis of publicly available information, the Court considered that it would be unlikely for the applicant to find decent accommodation and gainful employment in Greece. Moreover, it also noted that he would not have access to social benefits and therefore would not be a position to reasonably secure the minimum level of subsistence.

As such, the Court considered the application for asylum could not be rejected as inadmissible because it had concluded that the applicant faced a serious risk of inhuman or degrading treatment if returned to Greece. The application was remitted to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees for reconsideration.

With thanks to Jean-David Ott, Legal Officer at ECRE for assisting the EWLU team with this summary. Based on an unofficial translation by the EWLU Team.  Photo: Marco Verch, July 26, 2017, Flickr (CC)

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly 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.                               

Accommodation centre
Inadmissible application
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Refugee Status