Czech Republic - Supreme Administrative Court, 18 May 2011, H.P. v Ministry of Interior, 5 Azs 6/2011-49

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
18-05-2011
Citation:
5 Azs 6/2011-49
Court Name:
Supreme Administrative Court
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Headnote: 

The fact that one of the grounds for requesting asylum was to legalise residency in the Czech Republic was not sufficient in itself to allow the application to be deemed unfounded.

The Ministry of Interior must address all factual statements made, even if not formally named as grounds for the asylum application.

Facts: 

The applicant, from the Ukraine, applied for international protection in the Czech Republic. This was her second application where she stated following: that she caused a car crash in the Ukraine in which her boyfriend died, as a result she came into conflict with her boyfriend’s brother and friends, who threatened and attacked her, she was beaten and tortured.

The applicant claimed international protection based on the right to family life, which she enjoyed with her Czech boyfriend, with whom she was planning a marriage.The application was dismissed as unfounded according to the provision of Art 16 of the Asylum Act. The Ministry of Interior (MOI) stated that the only reason for the application was an attempt to legalise residency.The MOI also stated that the applicant had not provided any circumstances that would indicate a risk of imminent persecution or serious harm in her country of origin.

The applicant appealed to the Regional Court. She argued that the MOI did not deal with the issue of private individuals as actors of persecution or serious harm. The Court dismissed her appeal and confirmed the decision of the administrative body.

The applicant brought a cassation complaint to the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC). In the complaint she reiterated her argument regarding private actors of persecution.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The grounds for granting international protection are based on the facts that emerge during the proceedings and it is irrelevant whether the applicant expressly designate these facts as the grounds for his or her claim. An applicant who is not familiar with asylum law does not know how to qualify his or her statements and how to describe them formally. The content of the applicant’s statement is essential.

If an applicant for international protection presents his or her factual statements relevant to the granting of international protection according to the provision of Art 12-14a of the Asylum Act, during the administrative procedure, in this instance the administrative body is obliged to properly deal with them, regardless of whether these statements have been formally designated as the grounds for which he or she requests international protection.

The fact that one of the grounds for requesting asylum was to legalize the applicants residence in the Czech Republic is not sufficient in itself to reject this application as apparently unfounded according to the provision of Art 16 of the Asylum Act, or to refuse international protection according to the provision of Art 12-14a of the Asylum Act. This does not preclude the fact that the applicant left their country of origin to settle in the Czech Republic precisely because he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution based on asylum grounds or that he or she would face a real risk of serious harm giving rise to an entitlement to subsidiary protection in case of return to their country of origin.

If a foreigner didn’t need any legal title to stay in the Czech Republic, he or she wouldn’t need to apply for the international protection. If such a point of view were adopted, it could be possible to dismiss any application for protection due to the fact it was submitted in an effort to legalise stay in the country, even if such an application was reasonable.

Outcome: 

The decision of the Regional Court was cancelled.

Observations/Comments: 

Judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court, No. 5 Azs 6/2011–49 available at www.nssoud.cz

Case Law Cited: 

Czech Republic - 5 Azs 6/2010-107 (Supreme Administrative Court)