France - Council of State, 8 June 2016, N°386558

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
08-06-2016
Citation:
M.B.A. v Minister of the Interior, 2016 Council of State, N°386558
Court Name:
Council of State
National / Other Legislative Provisions:
France - Cesda (Code of Entry and Stay of Foreigners and Asylum Law) (Articles L.221-1
L221-4
R.213-2)
France - Administrative Justice Code (Article L.761-1)
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Headnote: 

The lower court had erred in law by judging that the administration need not justify having informed the applicant about the possibility to communicate with a  representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Facts: 

The applicant, a Sri Lankan national, made an asylum application before the French office for the protection of refugees and stateless persons (OFPRA)  at Roissy airport in Paris.

The Minister of the Interior refused his application in a decision of 27 November 2013 on grounds that the application was manifestly unfounded.

This decision was overturned in a judgment of 2 December 2013 by the Administrative Tribunal of Paris (Court of First Instance), which ruled in favour of the applicant.

This judgment was subsequently overturned in a judgment of 21 October 2014 by the Administrative Appeal Court of Paris (Court of Second Instance), which ruled in favour of the Minister of the Interior.

The applicant made a request for the revocation of this judgment before the Council of State.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Council of State concluded that the provisions of Article R.213-3 of the Code of Entry and Stay of Foreigners and Asylum Law (Cesda) had been violated.

Article R.213-3 of the Cesda is a transposition of Article 10 of the Asylum Procedures Directive 2005/85/EC. This article lays upon the administration an obligation to inform  every third country national who is present at the border and who requests asylum. This information obligation relates to the functioning of the proceedings and the applicant’s duty to substantiate his request.  

The Council of State underlined that the obligation to inform  shall be about the opportunity for the asylum applicant to communicate with a representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Thus, the Administrative Appeal Court of Paris’ decision that the administration need not justify having informed the applicant about the opportunity to communicate with a representative from the UNHCR  was incorrect and the Council of State held the Tribunal to have erred in law. The Council of State subsequently overturned the  judgment of the Administrative Tribunal. 

Outcome: 

Appeal granted.

The Council of State also decides to order the State to pay the amount of 3000e to the applicant in accordance with Article L.761-1 of the Administrative Justice Code.

Observations/Comments: 

In this decision the Council of State clarified that duty of information on the State towards the asylum applicant, namely that they should be informed of the opportunity to communicate with the UNHCR.  

This case summary was written by Claire Lavrut, law student at Turin University.