Netherlands: Morocco as a safe country of origin insufficiently motivated by the State Secretary

Date: 
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

On 23 August 2016, the District Court of Groningen ruled upon the designation of Morocco as a safe country of origin.
 
The case relates to an asylum application from a Moroccan national. The State Secretary of Security and Justice dismissed the asylum claim as manifestly unfounded because Morocco – with the exception of LGBTI persons – could be considered as a safe country of origin.
 
The Court observed that the possibility under Article 30(1) of Directive 2005/85/EC to exempt a certain part of a country as safe had not been included in Directive 2013/32/EU. As a result, the State Secretary should have included the particular situation of LGBTI persons in the assessment of whether a country could be deemed a safe country of origin. In addition, the State Secretary had failed to consult EASO, UNHCR and the Council of Europe of their intention to include Morocco on the list of safe countries. For these reason, the Court was not convinced that the State Secretary had based his decision on sufficient available information.
 
The Court ruled the ministerial regulation, which indicated Morocco as a safe third country, non-binding. As such, the appeal was granted.
 
Based on an unofficial translation. 

 

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Keywords: 
Safe country of origin
Sexual orientation