Italy: Council of State suspends a Dublin transfer to Bulgaria due to deficiencies in the Bulgarian asylum system

Friday, November 3, 2017

On 3 November 2017, the Italian Council of State suspended the Dublin transfer of an Afghan national from Italy to Bulgaria. The applicant had previously appealed against the transfer decision before the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio, without success. In March 2016, the Council of State granted suspensive effect to the appeal and instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide a report on the conditions faced by asylum seekers in Bulgaria, which was submitted in April 2017.

The Council of State found, contrary to the lower’s court interpretation, that nothing in the documents submitted before it allowed the Council of State to be fully reassured that the conditions faced by asylum seekers in Bulgaria would not amount to inhuman or degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 4 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The Council acknowledged the substantial improvements in the Bulgarian asylum system in the recent months, but stated that recent reports still point to poor reception and integration conditions. The Council also relied on decisions from other national courts, such as the Administrative Court of Appeal of Bordeaux (case no.16BX03424), the Federal Administrative Court of Switzerland (case no. E-305/2017) and the Constitutional Court of Austria (case no. 484/2017), which all recognised the existence of serious deficiencies in the Bulgarian asylum system in the context of a Dublin transfer. Therefore, the Council of State quashed the transfer decision to Bulgaria.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. We would like to thank Loredana Leo and ASGI for bringing this case to our attention. A summary of the decision can be found in Italian here.

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.



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Dublin Transfer
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
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