France – Council of State, 11 April 2018, N° 402242

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
11-04-2018
Citation:
(France) Council of State, 402242, 11 April 2018
Court Name:
Council of State 10th- 9th joint chambers
Relevant Legislative Provisions:
International Law > 1951 Refugee Convention > Art 1F
National / Other Legislative Provisions:
France - - Code of Entry and Stay of Foreigners and the Right to Asylum (CESEDA)
France - Code of Administrative Justice (Article L. 761-1)
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Headnote: 

The applicant’s asylum claim has been rejected on the grounds of Article 1F(c) of the 1951 Refugee Convention. The act he committed would amount to being contrary to the purposes and principles of the UN. However, the Council of State hereby decided that in failing to seek and qualify the severity of this act in the light of its effects internationally, the lower court made an error of law.

Facts: 

The applicant, M. A…, a Turkish national of Kurdish origins, was indicted following his participation in a violent action organised by the Kurdistan Workers Party against a Turkish cultural association in Nice, France.

Consequently, the re-examination of his asylum application was rejected by the French immigration authorities (OFPRA). The national court on asylum (CNDA) subsequently rejected the applicant’s appeal on the grounds of Article 1F(c) of the 1951 Refugee Convention. It provides that those who have committed acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the UN are to be excluded from refugee status.

Following this rejection, the applicant lodged an appeal before the Council of State.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Council of State first recalls that acts which are contrary to the purposes and principles of the UN may fall not only under the scope of Article 1F(b) of the 1951 Refugee Convention, but also under Article 1F(c) mentioned above. The scope of the latter requires those acts to have an international impact, whose severity has an international scale as well as significant implications for international peace and security.

In the present case, the Council of State observes that the applicant’s act has been qualified as an act of a terrorist nature. This qualification was decided by the public prosecutor and was furthermore chosen owing to the fact that it was committed by an organisation considered as a terrorist one by the European Union.

Nevertheless, the Council of State notes that the CNDA made an error of law in failing to make an assessment on the severity of the applicant’s act in the light of its effects internationally. 

Outcome: 

Appeal granted

 

The Council of State also orders the OFPRA to pay to the applicant the sum of 3000€ for the costs which incurred, under Article L. 671-1 of the administrative code of justice.

Observations/Comments: 

AJDA 2018. 822 — 30 April 2018, Emmanuelle Maupin, « Precisions on the exclusion clauses from refugee status » (available only in French)

AJDA 2018. 1114 — 4 June 2018, Aurélie Bretonneau, « Conditions of the application of the exclusion clause on acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the UN » (available only in French)

This case summary was written by Celia Minh Boyon, LLM student at Queen Mary University, London.