France – Council of State, 11 April 2018, N° 412514

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
(France) Council of State, 412514, 11 April 2018
Court Name:
Council of State 10th chamber
Relevant Legislative Provisions:
International Law > 1951 Refugee Convention
National / Other Legislative Provisions:
France - Law N° 91-647 of 10 July 1991 (Article 37)
France - Code of Entry and Stay of Foreigners and the Right to Asylum (Articles L. 723-6
L. 723-6
L. 733-5)
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The Council of State annulled the decision from the French national court on asylum (CNDA) after noting it had not examined the applicant’s submission that he did not have access to an interpreter during his personal interview for a re-examination of his asylum application. He had indeed appealed against the decision of the French immigration authorities (OFPRA) rejecting his claim despite his inability to be understood.


The applicant, M. A…B…, argues that he was interviewed for the re-examination of his asylum application by the OFPRA, without having been able to benefit from a Chechen interpreter.

Following the rejection of his claim, the applicant lodged an appeal to get an annulment before the CNDA.

Resulting in another rejection, he made an application to the Council of State for judicial review.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Council of State first recalls that under articles L. 723-6 and L. 733-5 of the Code of Entry and Stay of Foreigners and the Right to Asylum (CEDESA), the claimant is to be heard in the language of his choice or in a language he has a sufficient knowledge of during his personal interview for the re-examination of his asylum application. Failing this, it will be for the CNDA to annul the decision from the OFPRA and to undertake a review of this re-examination after having judged that the applicant was in the impossibility to be understood.

In this case, the Council of State notes that the CNDA has not addressed the applicant’s merit in relation to the absence of a Chechen interpreter during his personal interview.

Without examining the other pleas, the Council of State grants the applicant’s appeal and refers the case back to the CNDA.


Appeal granted

The Council of State also orders the OFPRA to pay to the applicant’s lawyer the sum of 2400€ for the costs which incurred unless the aforementioned company renounces its right to receive it, under Article L. 671-1 of the administrative code of justice and Article 37 of the law of the 10 July 1991. 


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