Spain – Superior Court of Madrid reinstates access to reception for Dublin returnee, finding a violation of the right to judicial protection

Friday, December 7, 2018

On 7 December 2018, the Superior Court of Madrid ruled that the Spanish authorities had to ensure that an asylum seeker transferred to Spain from Germany under the Dublin Regulation would have access to the reception system.

The Ministry of Labour, Migration and Social Security had withdrawn access to the reception system for the applicant on the ground that he had renounced the right to reception by leaving the country. The applicant, who was living in a shelter for homeless persons upon his arrival from Germany, requested to be included in the reception system again, but his request was denied by the Ministry. He then challenged the decision following a special procedure for the protection of fundamental rights before Madrid’s Superior Court.

By referring to an earlier judgment the Court had issued on a similar situation, as well as to the M.S.S. v Belgium and Greece case, the Court first observed that it could not consider a violation of Article 15 of the Spanish Constitution regarding the right to physical and moral integrity, due to the fact that the applicant could sleep and have access to food distribution in the homeless shelter, as well as benefit from psychological assistance and professional training provided by NGOs. This led the Court to conclude that even though he was not enjoying the specific reception conditions to which he would have had access, had he been included in the reception system, he was not forced to destitution.

However, it found that the appellant's right to judicial protection, recognised under Article 24.1 of the Spanish Constitution, had been breached due to the fact that the Ministry had denied him access to the reception system even though he was still an asylum seeker. In this respect, the judges emphasized that several constitutional safeguards to the right of defence were disregarded by the authorities.

It thus annulled the decision of withdrawal of reception conditions and ordered the Authorities to reinstate his access to the reception facilities.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update.

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.                               


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