Austria - Constitutional Court, 28 June 2011, B4/11

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
28-06-2011
Citation:
VfGH 28.06.2011, B4/11
Additional Citation:
VfSlg. 19.424/2011
Court Name:
Constitutional Court
Relevant Legislative Provisions:
Council of Europe Instruments > EN - Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms > Article 2
Council of Europe Instruments > ECHR (Frist Protocol) > Art 6
Council of Europe Instruments > EN - Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms > Article 3
Council of Europe Instruments > ECHR (Frist Protocol) > Art 13
Council of Europe Instruments > EN - Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms > Article 5
European Union Law > EN - Asylum Procedures Directive, Council Directive 2005/85/EC of 1 December 2005 > Art 18
European Union Law > EN - Asylum Procedures Directive, Council Directive 2005/85/EC of 1 December 2005 > Art 23 > Art 23.4 > Art 23.4 (h)
European Union Law > EN - Asylum Procedures Directive, Council Directive 2005/85/EC of 1 December 2005 > Art 23 > Art 23.4
European Union Law > EN - Asylum Procedures Directive, Council Directive 2005/85/EC of 1 December 2005 > Art 23
European Union Law > EN - Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union > Article 4
European Union Law > EN - Asylum Procedures Directive, Council Directive 2005/85/EC of 1 December 2005 > Art 32
Council of Europe Instruments > EN - Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms > Article 8
European Union Law > EN - Qualification Directive, Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004
European Union Law > EN - Dublin II Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No 343/2003 of 18 February 2003 > Article 3
European Union Law > EN - Qualification Directive, Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 > Art 21
European Union Law > EN - Dublin II Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No 343/2003 of 18 February 2003 > Article 3 > 2.
European Union Law > EN - Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union > Article 19
European Union Law > EN - Dublin II Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No 343/2003 of 18 February 2003 > Article 10
European Union Law > EN - Returns Directive, Directive 2008/115/EC of 16 December 2008
European Union Law > EN - Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union > Article 39
European Union Law > EN - Dublin II Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No 343/2003 of 18 February 2003 > Article 18
European Union Law > EN - Returns Directive, Directive 2008/115/EC of 16 December 2008 > Article 15
National / Other Legislative Provisions:
Austria - Allgemeines Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz (General Administrative Procedure Act) 1991 - § 33 Abs 2
Austria - Allgemeines Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz (General Administrative Procedure Act) 1991 - § 39 Abs 2
Austria - Allgemeines Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz (General Administrative Procedure Act) 1991 - § 57
Austria - Allgemeines Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz (General Administrative Procedure Act) 1991 - § 67
Austria - Allgemeines Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz (General Administrative Procedure Act) 1991 - § 68
Austria - Allgemeines Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz (General Administrative Procedure Act) 1991 - § 79a
Austria - Asylgesetz (Asylum Act) 2005 - § 2 Abs 1 Z 23
Austria - Asylgesetz (Asylum Act) 2005 - § 10
Austria - Asylgesetz (Asylum Act) 2005 - § 12a
Austria - Asylgesetz (Asylum Act) 2005 - § 12
Austria - Asylgesetz (Asylum Act) 2005 - § 15
Austria - Asylgesetz (Asylum Act) 2005 - § 15a
Austria - Asylgesetz (Asylum Act) 2005 - § 17
Austria - Asylgesetz (Asylum Act) 2005 - § 5
Austria - Asylgesetz (Asylum Act) 2005 - § 19
Austria - Asylgesetz (Asylum Act) 2005 - § 29
Austria - Bundes-Verfassungsgesetz (Federal Constitutional Law) - Art 144
Austria - BVG über die Beseitigung rassischer Diskriminierung (Implementation of the International Convention on abolishment of all forms of racial discrimination) - Art I (1)
Austria - Bundesverfassungsgesetzes über den Schutz der persönlichen Freiheit (Federal Constitutional Law on the Protection of Personal Freedom) - Art 1 ff
Austria - Bundesverfassungsgesetzes über den Schutz der persönlichen Freiheit (Federal Constitutional Law on the Protection of Personal Freedom) - Art 2
Austria - Fremdenpolizeigesetz (Aliens Police Act) 2005 - § 13
Austria - Fremdenpolizeigesetz (Aliens Police Act) 2005 - § 46a
Austria - Fremdenpolizeigesetz (Aliens Police Act) 2005 - § 51
Austria - Fremdenpolizeigesetz (Aliens Police Act) 2005 - § 53
Austria - Fremdenpolizeigesetz (Aliens Police Act) 2005 - § 54
Austria - Fremdenpolizeigesetz (Aliens Police Act) 2005 - § 60
Austria - Fremdenpolizeigesetz (Aliens Police Act) 2005 - § 67 Abs 4
Austria - Fremdenpolizeigesetz (Aliens Police Act) 2005 - § 74 Abs 2 Z 1
Austria - Fremdenpolizeigesetz (Aliens Police Act) 2005 - § 76
Austria - Fremdenpolizeigesetz (Aliens Police Act) 2005 - § 77
Austria - Fremdenpolizeigesetz (Aliens Police Act) 2005 - § 80
Austria - Fremdenpolizeigesetz (Aliens Police Act) 2005 - § 82
Austria - Fremdenpolizeigesetz (Aliens Police Act) 2005 - § 83
Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Headnote: 

Legality of detention in the event of imminent deportation to Greece, if the detention was imposed before the judgment by the ECtHR in the case M.S.S. v Belgium and Greece (application no. 30696/09) and there is an enforceable expulsion decision.

Facts: 

The Applicant entered Austria, where he submitted an application for protection in May 2009, via Greece. Consultation proceedings were initiated with Greece and Greece was responsible as the deadline for agreement or refusal had expired. The Applicant left the reception facility  assigned to him and his whereabouts were then unknown.

The Federal Asylum Agency rejected his application owing to the lack of jurisdiction of Austria and expelled the Applicant to Greece. The decision was enforceable.

In June 2010 the Applicant was arrested during a routine check and he was taken into detention. He went on hunger strike and was therefore released from detention owing to lack of fitness for a custodial sentence. Only after a further detention was he finally deported to Greece in October 2010.

In December the Applicant was found to be in possession of a French passport during a house search in connection with drug dealing. Detention was imposed on him again.

The Applicant submitted a further application for protection and Dublin consultations were again conducted with Greece. His application was not granted practical protection from deportation as a matter of law. This meant that deportation was lawful already as of the agreement of Greece or the expiry of the period to respond to the request to take back.

The Applicant lodged an appeal against the detention. In this it was stated that it was unlawful because deportation to Greece was unlawful owing to the conditions for asylum seekers there and he was in danger of treatment conflicting with Art 3 ECHR.

The Independent Administrative Chamber denied the appeal. In the decision it was argued that based on the Applicant’s previous behaviour there was a security requirement for the implementation of the asylum proceedings and the issue of an expulsion  order to Greece. Doubts were raised about the conditions contrary to human rights in Greece with reference to the case law of the Asylum Court.

The Applicant lodged an appeal against this decision at the Constitutional Court. 

Decision & Reasoning: 

The appeal was rejected.

At the time the Applicant was taken into detention according to the applicable case law of the Constitutional Court in Austria only the expulsion of vulnerable persons to Greece was unlawful. Persons who were not vulnerable were allowed to be expelled. The decision by the Independent Administrative Chamber was issued before the judgment by the ECtHR in the case M.S.S. v.Belgium and Greece (application no. 30696/09) and therefore decided within the meaning of the applicable law that an expulsion of a person who was not vulnerable to Greece was in principle lawful.

Owing to the previous behaviour of the Applicant there was a security requirement. At the time of the decision by the Independent Administrative Chamber an enforceable expulsion was already in place. This meant that there was also a legal basis for imposing as well as maintaining the detention.

As a result there was no violation of the Applicant’s right to the equal treatment of foreigners granted under constitutional law or to personal freedom.

Outcome: 

Appeal rejected

Observations/Comments: 

In principle when assessing the legality of the detention it should also be taken into consideration whether a person is threatened with a violation of Art 3 ECHR in the event of deportation to the responsible Dublin state. If there is a significant likelihood of this, the imposition of detention is also unlawful (see also Independent Administrative Chamber Vienna 31.10.2012, independent administrative board (UVS)-01/61/15001/2012; 30.04.2012, UVS-01/50/5371/2012-12).

This is also confirmed by the Constitutional Court itself in the decision as it states that in accordance with the judgment of the ECtHR in the case M.S.S. v.Belgium and Greece (application no. 30696/09) in more recent proceedings the current case law must be taken into account.

Other sources cited: 

Press information from Manfred Nowak of 20.10.2010

Press information of 1.9.2010 from the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Thomas Hammarberg

Request by the ECHR to Austria at the end of October 2010, to refrain from undertaking deportations to Greece on the basis of the Dublin II Regulation

Case Law Cited: 

Deutschland - Verwaltungsgericht in Frankfurt am Main, 08 Juli 2009, Z17K4376/07

VfSlg. 10.065/1984

VfSlg. 13.836/1994

VfSlg. 14.650/1996

VfSlg. 16.080/2001

VfSlg. 17.026/2003

VfSlg. 16.214/2001

VfSlg. 14.393/1995

VfSlg. 16.314/2001

VfSlg. 15.451/1999

VfSlg. 16.297/2001

VfSlg. 16.354/2001

VfSlg. 18.614/2008

VfSlg. 14.776/1997

VfGH 27 April 2009, U1111/08-7

VfSlg. 16.273/2001

VfSlg 16.384/2001

VfSlg 13.708/1994

VfSlg 15.131/1998

VfSlg 15.684/1999

VfGH 07 Oktober 2010, U694/10

VfGH 01 Dezember 2010, U1523/09

VfGH 13 Dezember 2010, U1441/10

AsylGH 27 Februar 2009, S6 404.605 bis 607

AsylGH 23 Oktober 2008, S4 402.100

AsylGH 02 August 2010, S20 413933-1/2010

VfGH 28 April 2009, U1080/09-3