France - Council of State, 11 January 2012, No. 354907

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
11-01-2012
Citation:
CE, 11 January 2012, No. 354907
Court Name:
Council of State
National / Other Legislative Provisions:
France - Administrative Justice Code - Art. L.521-1
France - Cesda (Code of Entry and Stay of Foreigners and Asylum Law) Art L.742-6
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Headnote: 

French associations challenged an internal memo from the OFPRA (3 November 2011). The Council of State suspended the execution of that memo.

Facts: 

French associations challenged an internal memo from the OFPRA (3 November 2011) stating that the asylum claims, of applicants without ID or traveling documents or who refused to give their fingerprints at the prefecture, should be refused and not assessed individually.

The OFPRA stated that this memo served the public interest by fighting against fraud.

Decision & Reasoning: 

Firstly, the Council of State ruled that the internal memo contained general binding provisions and thus can be challenged under article L.521-1 of the Administrative Justice Code (interim relief measure).

Secondly, the Council of State ruled that the internal memo should be suspended, for two reasons:

- the internal memo is designed to automatically reject asylums claims under the circumstances defined in the memo. The numerous applicants, who can fall within this situation, even though they can appeal to the National Court of Asylum, loose the right to stay on the territory (article L.742-6 CESEDA) and stop benefitting from the material reception conditions granted to asylum seekers. Thus, considering the consequences the note has on asylum seekers, even the general interest of fighting against fraud cannot justify the serious consequences that the note has on asylum seekers. Hence, the emergency condition under article L.521-1 od the Administrative Justice Code is satisfied.

- the procedure defined under the memo prevents the individual assessments of the asylum claims which are required even in the case of accelerated procedures (articles L.723-1 and L.723-2 CESEDA); and by preventing the interview of claimants breaches article L.723-3 CESEDA.

Finally, the Council of State held that the suspension of the internal memo necessarily implied that the OFPRA stopped applying the procedure defined in the memo and starts assessing those asylum claims.

Outcome: 

The Council of State suspended the execution of the OFPRA internal memo (3 November 2011).

Observations/Comments: 

http://www.dalloz-actualite.fr/printpdf/essentiel/empreintes-alterees-co...

This case summary was completed by Marina Pinault, an LLM graduate of Leiden University.