Italy – Court of Cassation decides on proper assessment of subsidiary protection claims

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

On 12 September, the Court of Cassation delivered its judgment in a case concerning the annulment of a decision that denied international protection to a Pakistani national.

After the appellant’s asylum request had been refused at two instances, he sought to annul the decision on the basis of erroneous application of the provisions of subsidiary protection. In particular, the appellate court’s examination of the security situation in Pakistan had been limited to sources that were not up to date, including reports from 2013 and 2016. Therefore, it failed to correctly assess the applicant’s claims, as well as other decisive circumstances.

The Supreme Court started by affirming that a judge cannot limit their considerations to the evaluation of the reasons that prompted the asylum seeker’s flight. According to the Court’s own case law, an up-to-date assessment of the claimed facts in light of the general socio-political situation of the country should also be conducted. Especially in the context of a claim of risk stemming from private actors, judges have a duty to perform an official examination on whether the applicant would have received effective protection from state authorities, if he had requested it.

In this case, the Court found that there had been no examination of the current situation in Pakistan, nor a specific mention of the situation in the applicant’s region of origin. Moreover, as the Court observed, the appellate judge did not correctly address the applicant’s religion, leading to a wrongful interpretation of a decisive factor in the applicant’s case. The Court annulled the contested decision and remitted the case back to the Court of Appeal, to be decided by a different composition.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. For further information, see here.

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.



Assessment of facts and circumstances
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