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About EDAL European Database of Asylum Law
The European Database of Asylum Law (EDAL) is an online database containing case law from 11 EU Member States interpreting refugee and asylum law. EDAL summarises relevant case law in English and the Member State’s national language and provides a link to, and/or pdf. of, the full text of the original judgment where available.
EDAL is funded by the European Commission’s European Refugee Fund under the project entitled ‘Learning from Practice: Developing a database of jurisprudence to deepen cross-European understanding of the interpretation of the Qualification and Asylum Procedures Directives’.
EDAL’s objective is to strengthen the development of harmonized standards of protection within the Common European Asylum System and, in particular, to increase consistency and quality in the interpretation and application of the Qualification1 and Asylum Procedures Directives2.
The primary audience is decision-makers at all levels, practitioners, academics and policy makers. The project aims to foster deeper cooperation amongst decision-makers and practitioners in Member States. EDAL contains case summaries from the following Member States:
- The Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
The Irish Refugee Council coordinated the project and partnered with the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE). An Advisory Panel including a representative of UNHCR was formed to provide guidance on the project and National experts were appointed to select and draft the case summaries in English and the Member State’s national language.
Criteria for Selecting Cases
The primary focus of EDAL is to collect case law that is relevant to the interpretation of the Qualification and Asylum Procedures Directives; however important cases on the Reception Conditions Directive and the Dublin II Regulation are also included. Cases are selected where a significant point of law is discussed and the reasoning of the decision-maker is evident and instructive. This includes, for example, precedent setting cases and cases that contribute to policy changes at the national level. In addition, cases are selected if they were considered significant and therefore should be shared with decision-makers and practitioners in other Member States, regardless of the outcome. The court level of case summaries varies across each jurisdiction. The decisions of administrative tribunals or semi-judicial bodies are also included.
International Protection Standards
EDAL is conscious that EU law is not the only source of asylum and refugee law in Member States. Every Member State is a signatory to the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees and there can be discrepancies in the interpretation of international (and EU) obligations between different Member States. EDAL is useful to identify cases that either highlights protection gaps in Member States or case law which demonstrate instances where Member States have maintained higher standards than are required by EU asylum acquis but correspond with international law.
Features of EDAL
EDAL is searchable in English and the original language of the decision. The website interface is available in English only.
The case summaries are searchable by a predictive text keyword search, by a free text / full text search, as well as by provisions of relevant EU Directives, citation, and case title.
The full-text search uses all full-text fields below. Ordering occurs according to search relevance. Most fields have a weight of 1.0, title has 21.0, Headnote has 3.0:
- Court name
- Neutral Citation Number
- Other Citation Number
- EU Legal Provisions Applicable » Name
- Headnote » Text
- Facts » Text
- Entity HTML output
Users can Browse cases via the "filters" according the following categories.
- Filter by keywords
- Filter by EU legal provisions applicable
- Filter by legal provisions cited
- Filter by case law cited
- Filter by country of decision
- Filter by country of applicant
- Filter by date
EU Law Provisions Cited & Applicable
When selecting cases, National Experts identify EU legal provisions cited and applicable to a case (even if not cited). For example, the jurisprudence in most countries will not make reference to Article 4 of the Qualification Directive concerning the Assessment of Facts and Circumstances when discussing the issue of credibility or ‘benefit of the doubt’, although Article 4 may be relevant and applicable.
EDAL contains information on each Member States legal framework – Country Overview – outlining how the asylum system operates, and explaining the standing and relationship between different courts and tribunals in that process.
The Irish Refugee Council is seeking to obtain additional funding to be able in the future to include the case law of other EU Member States and to extend the focus to other elements of the Common European Asylum System.