Refugees with disabilities: are new qualification norms required to address today’s protection needs?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The EU and international legal framework

EU Member States are being profoundly affected by the humanitarian crisis and further efforts are needed to tackle this unprecedented emergency. In this context, persons with disabilities, the elderly, children and women are the most vulnerable categories of individuals who are forced to leave their country in order to escape persecution or abuse. The EU is therefore called upon to take into account the specific situation of persons with disabilities and provide a legal framework that is in line with the international...

Detention of vulnerable persons in international protection proceedings in Poland

Thursday, December 8, 2016


This blog aims to demonstrate that the system of self-identification of vulnerable persons in the international protection proceedings, applicable in Poland prior to the transposition of the recast Procedure and Reception Directives, can give rise to breaches of Article 5 of the ECHR. It also examines the possible impact of the post-transposition legal framework in Poland on detention practices for those who are vulnerable.

System of (self-) identification of vulnerable persons

Before the transposition of...

The Use of Country of Origin Information by the European Court of Human Rights in the Assessment of a Real Risk of a Violation of the Prohibition of Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment

Tuesday, November 22, 2016
  1. Introduction

The European Court of Human Rights’ (ECtHR) case law is binding on the countries concerned and has led governments to alter their legislation and administrative practice in a wide range of areas. The ECtHR’s case law on Article 3 ECHR (prohibition on torture) has likewise influenced national asylum policies and practices. For example, the conclusions in the case of Sufi and Elmi, classified by the ECtHR as highly important (level 1), have made their way into national...

Justiciable rights stemming from delays in first instance determination decisions

Friday, November 4, 2016


Delays in issuing first instance decisions are becoming part and parcel of Member States asylum procedures. As the recent AIDA briefing on the length of asylum procedures has pointed out States often exceed prescribed deadlines by a considerable amount of time. Ultimately lengthy waiting times lead to precarity and uncertainty for individuals given that rights associated with international protection are effectively stalled. As aptly pointed out by the...

Developments in the assessment of the “reasonableness test” within the Internal Protection Alternative concept in Slovenia

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I.                   Introduction

As a concept, the Internal Protection Alternative (IPA) provides that the asylum authority may refuse a well-founded application for international protection, if the applicant can move to another part of their country and thereby avoid fear of persecution or serious harm, if certain conditions are met. It is part of the assessment of facts, based on the subsidiarity of international protection, i.e. another state is obliged to provide international protection...

Mirza and the application of the Safe Third Country concept under the Dublin Regulation: a foreboding of things to come?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


The judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Mirza is a tightly constructed decision in response to a series of highly circumscribed questions posed by the Debrecen Administrative and Labour Court in Hungary. Given the very precise answers one may doubt the judgment’s utility, especially since the Court’s decision is completely detached from the context of the...

Detention of asylum-seekers under the scope of Article 5(1)(f) of ECHR - some thoughts based on recent ECHR and CJEU jurisprudence

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


The deprivation of liberty is only authorised under the ECHR if it pursues a specific objective defined in subparagraphs (a)-(f) of Article 5(1). Detention of irregular migrants, as well as asylum seekers usually falls under subparagraph (f), which has two limbs: to prevent unauthorised entry or when action is being taken with the view to deportation. Under EU law Article 8(3) of the


Protection of Victims of Human Trafficking and the ECtHR’s inadmissibility decision in G.J. v. Spain

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The case law under Article 4 of the ECHR which enshrines the right not to be held in slavery, servitude and forced labour, is scarce. This is more than surprising against the backdrop of ample empirical evidence showing that migrants, including sex workers, are subjected to severe forms of exploitation in Europe (see, for example, the report by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency published in 2015 Severe...

The right to an effective remedy in asylum proceedings in Poland

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


In Poland cases concerning international protection are examined by the Head of the Office for Foreigners and the appeals are handled by the administrative authority called the Refugee Board. The decisions of the Refugee Board can be appealed to the Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw. Its judgements can be subject to cassation proceedings conducted by the Supreme Administrative Court. In this system with two authorities carrying out administrative proceedings and two administrative courts, separate from common courts, which appeal should be...