France - Administrative Tribunal of Paris, decision of 22 February 2016, No 1602545/9

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
22-02-2016
Citation:
No. 1602545/9
Court Name:
Administrative Tribunal of Paris
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Headnote: 

The considerable delays of receiving an appointment at the Prefect in order to register an asylum application means that applicants are deprived of legally entitled guarantees, notably material ones. Consequentially such delays constitute a serious and manifestly illegal infringement upon the fundamental right to asylum.

The Police Prefect must register the asylum application within 10 days of the notification of this decision. 

Facts: 

The procedure relates to a liberty-emergency interim relief measure (provided for in article L521-2 of the Administrative Justice Code) which allows applicants to request an administrative judge to take useful emergency measures (within 48 hours) in case of a grave and blatantly illegal breach of a fundamental freedom.

In this case the applicant, a national from Afghanistan, had entered France on the 25th January 2016 and presented himself in front of the reception platform of the NGO “France terre d’asile” on the 9th February. There he had received a notice for registration of his asylum application at the Prefect on the 13th May 2016. The applicant complained that the urgency requirement had been satisfied by virtue of the impossibility to register his asylum application before the 13th May 2016. In turn such a delay has had serious consequences, principally the deprivation of reception conditions. Moreover, such a delay infringes Article 6 of the recast Asylum Procedures Directive as well as Article 3 of the ECHR and constitutes a serious and manifestly illegal violation of the right to asylum which is a fundamental liberty.

Conversely the Police Prefect submitted that urgency is not met given that the applicant can benefit from urgent services for the homeless and that such a delay for registration can be attributed to an exceptional influx of persons, preventing the registration of asylum applications within a reasonable time frame.

Decision & Reasoning: 

With regards to Article L.521-2 of the Administrative Justice Code the Tribunal first highlighted that the right to asylum is a right which is a fundamental liberty and has as it co-part the right to request refugee status. Such a right implies the registration of asylum applications by competent authorities and according to Article L.741-1 of the same code this registration must take place, at the latest, three working days from when the application is made and ten days where an increased number of applications are made simultaneously.   Where the ten days have been surpassed this constitutes a violation of legislative provisions and creates an obstacle to the examination of the application and further deprives the individual of the authorisation to stay on the territory until a decision is given on the claim.  Fulfilling the requirements of urgency the Tribunal stated that where a noticeable increase in numbers during the same period may lift the presumption of urgency it is not so in this case given that there have been 5710 requests for asylum at Paris during the first 5 months of 2015 set against 3132 for the same period in 2014.  

In light of the delay between the applicant’s arrival at "France terre d’asile" and the appointment notice for registration before the Prefect, a delay which is far superior to the 10 days prescribed by article 741-1 and a delay with deprives the applicant of guarantees, notably material, which the applicant is entitled to by virtue of his asylum seeker status, the Tribunal held that the Police Prefect has committed a serious and manifestly illegal violation of the fundamental right to asylum.

Outcome: 

Tribunal accepts the urgency of the request. The Police Prefect must register the asylum application within 10 days of the notification of the decision. 

Subsequent Proceedings : 

This decision is just one of over a 130 decisions given by the Administrative Tribunal of Paris within the emergency interim relief procedure. All of which provide the same reasoning as this decision and confirm that the delays for registration experienced by asylum seekers in the Paris region constitute a violation of the right to asylum.  

For more information please see here:  http://www.lacimade.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Communique-Violation-Asile-Paris-21-Avril-2016.pdf

A sample of additional decisions have been added to this case summary in the pdfs at the top of the page.