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Tuesday, 1 June 2010

UNHCR upholds right to effective remedy in accelerated asylum procedures

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Source: ECRE

On 5 February 2010, the Third Chamber of the Luxemburg Administrative Tribunal lodged a reference (PDF) to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for a preliminary ruling. The reference in the case “Diouf” (C-69/10) is the first on the interpretation of Asylum Procedures Directive (APD). The national court asks whether “the right to an effective remedy” (Article 39 APD) is compatible with national provisions denying an asylum seeker the right to appeal to a court against the administrative authority’s decision to deal with the claim under the accelerated procedure.

On 21 May 2010, UNHCR issued an Amicus Curiae statement (PDF) concluding that that national legislation providing no remedy against the decision to channel asylum claims into accelerated procedures, but only against the final decision, may be consistent with Article 39 APD and Article 6 and 13 ECHR. However this only is the case when accelerated procedures afford the applicants access to all procedural safeguards essential for the enjoyment of the right to an effective remedy. These rights include the right to information, legal assistance, translation, reasonable time limits and the possibility to request suspensive effect during appeal. The “need to process asylum applications in a rapid and efficient manner cannot prevail over the effective exercise of the prohibition of refoulement”, UNHCR emphasised.
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