Germany: Administrative Court of Düsseldorf rules against a Dublin transfer to Greece based on serious shortcomings in the Greek asylum system

Thursday, October 26, 2017

On 26 October 2017, the Administrative Court of Düsseldorf ruled in case 12 L 4591/17 A, which concerned the Dublin transfer of an asylum seeker from Germany to Greece. Greece had accepted the take-charge request on 8 August 2017. The judge granted suspensive effect to an appeal against the transfer decision.

The Administrative Court of Düsseldorf found that there are substantial grounds for believing that systemic flaws in the asylum procedure and reception conditions in Greece could put the applicant in risk of being subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment, in violation of Article 4 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The Court referred to the ECtHR ruling in M.S.S. v. Greece and Belgium and the fact that transfers of asylum seekers to Greece under the Dublin III Regulation have not been allowed since 2011. Since then, it was not clear that the systemic shortcomings in the asylum procedure and reception conditions in Greece have been remedied. The Court also referred to the European Commission recommendation to resumption transfers to Greece, which, despite its purpose, also point to the continuation of serious shortcomings in the Greek asylum system. It also referred to a later sent by Greece to the European Commission in November 2016, in which concerns are raised about the capacity of the Greek asylum system to cope with the resumption of Dublin transfers. The Court raised particular concerns about the facilities on the islands and the hotspots, which cannot be considered to be up to standard in terms of sanitary facilities and access to basic services such as health care, especially for vulnerable groups.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. The EWLU would like to thank Meral Zeller, Communications Assistant at ECRE, and Mary Lisa Jayaseelan, from Pro Asyl, for their kind assistance with translating this case.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. 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, the IRC or its partners.



Dublin Transfer
Effective access to procedures
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Material reception conditions
Procedural guarantees
Reception conditions