Greece: Council of State annuls geographical restriction of asylum applicants on the islands

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

On 17 April 2018, the Greek Council of State issued Decision No 805/2018, allowing an action brought by the Greek Council for Refugees for the annulment of the Asylum Service Director Decision which established the geographical restriction imposed on asylum seekers arriving on the islands of Lesvos, Rhodes, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos after 20 March 2016.
The Council of State held that the regime of geographical restriction within the aforementioned islands has resulted in unequal distribution of asylum seekers across the national territory and significant pressure on the affected islands compared to other regions, including negative effects on their economy and public order. It also highlighted that the Decision of the Asylum Service Director, issued pursuant to Article 41 of Law 4375/2016, does not set out legal grounds for the imposition of restrictions on asylum seekers' freedom of movement. Insofar as it deduced no serious reasons of public interest from the Decision in order to justify such a measure, the Council of State majority annulled the Decision in question.
The decision is not publicly available at the moment. This summary is based on an unofficial translation by ECRE’s Asylum Information Database. You can find more information regarding the decision here and the reform of the Greek asylum system here.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. 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, the IRC or its partners.



Freedom of movement (right to)