UK: High Court declares Dublin transfer to Hungary unlawful

Friday, August 5, 2016

On 5 August 2016, the High Court ruled in Ibrahimi & Abasi v SSHD [2016] EWHC 2048 (Admin) regarding the Dublin transfer of two Iranian nationals to Hungary.
The Secretary of State for the Home Department had rejected their asylum applications pursuant the Dublin III Regulation. According to the State Secretary, the applicants should be transferred to Hungary because “there was insufficient evidence of systemic or other failings in the Hungarian asylum system to rebut the strong presumption that Hungary would comply with its legal obligations.”
The applicants complained that their transfer to Hungary would result in a breach of the non-refoulement principle as safeguarded by Article 3 of the ECHR and Article 4 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. In particular, they would be subjected to “chain refoulement” as the applicants would risk removal to Iran along a chain of unsafe States, including Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey.
The Court ruled in favour of the applicants. Referring to UNHCR and AIDA reports regarding systemic and/or operational risks in the asylum and judicial systems, it seriously doubted the applicants would be able to apply for asylum in Hungary. The High Court further noted that the Secretary of State should not resort to “broad and sweeping generalisations about presumptions of compliance” of an EU Member State. Therefore, “a full blown up-to-date analysis of risks and safety” is required, if the Secretary of State is to justify the Dublin transfers of the applicants.

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