Hungary - Szeged Administrative and Labour Court, 10.K.27.051/2018/5, 07 February 2018

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
07-02-2018
Citation:
Hungary, Szeged Administrative and Labour Court, 07 February 2018, 10.K.27.051/2018/5
Court Name:
Szeged Administrative and Labour Court (Szeged Közigazgatási és Munkaügyi Bíróság)
Relevant Legislative Provisions:
European Union Law > EN - Dublin III Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No. 604/2013 of 26 June 2013 (recast Dublin II Regulation) > Article 3
European Union Law > EN - Dublin III Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No. 604/2013 of 26 June 2013 (recast Dublin II Regulation) > Article 6
European Union Law > EN - Dublin III Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No. 604/2013 of 26 June 2013 (recast Dublin II Regulation) > Article 7
European Union Law > EN - Dublin III Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No. 604/2013 of 26 June 2013 (recast Dublin II Regulation) > Article 8
European Union Law > EN - Dublin III Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No. 604/2013 of 26 June 2013 (recast Dublin II Regulation) > Article 9
European Union Law > EN - Dublin III Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No. 604/2013 of 26 June 2013 (recast Dublin II Regulation) > Article 10
European Union Law > EN - Dublin III Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No. 604/2013 of 26 June 2013 (recast Dublin II Regulation) > Article 11
European Union Law > EN - Dublin III Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No. 604/2013 of 26 June 2013 (recast Dublin II Regulation) > Article 12
European Union Law > EN - Dublin III Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No. 604/2013 of 26 June 2013 (recast Dublin II Regulation) > Article 13
European Union Law > EN - Dublin III Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No. 604/2013 of 26 June 2013 (recast Dublin II Regulation) > Article 14
European Union Law > EN - Dublin III Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No. 604/2013 of 26 June 2013 (recast Dublin II Regulation) > Article 15
European Union Law > EN - Dublin III Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No. 604/2013 of 26 June 2013 (recast Dublin II Regulation) > Article 17
European Union Law > EN - Recast Asylum Procedures Directive 2013/32/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council > Article 31
European Union Law > EN - Recast Asylum Procedures Directive 2013/32/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council > Article 43
National / Other Legislative Provisions:
Hungary: Law No. LXXX/2007 on refugee rights: Article 34(2) Article 49(2)
(4) and (8) Article 80/K(6)
Hungary: Law No. CXL/2004 on general rules of procedures done by Administrative Authorities: Article 50 Article 72
Hungary: Law No. I/2017 on Administrative Procedures: Article 84(1) Article 89(1) Article 92(1)
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Headnote: 

The authorities followed an incorrect interpretation of the Dublin Regulation 604/2013 failing to take into account that the older applicant is the brother of the minor and should remain in Hungary under Article 10 of the Regulation, despite having lodged an application in Bulgaria.

Facts: 

The claimants are two siblings who lodged an application for international protection in Hungary. As one of the applicants was underage, the other one was appointed as his guardian for the purposes of the application and the proceedings.

Due to the first entry being through Bulgaria, the Hungarian authorities found that Bulgaria is responsible for the proceedings and concluded that the applicants would have to return there for the examination of their claims.  The older applicant had also applied for international protection in Bulgaria but the domestic authorities did not consider him to be an adult. The authorities based their decision on Regulation 604/2013 (the Dublin Regulation) and on the conclusion that the applicants did not have any relatives residing in another EU member state.

The claimants appealed the decision and argued that they would be separated upon returning to Bulgaria. The child also argued that he was abused by the authorities in Bulgaria and that the Hungarian authorities did not consider their personal circumstances when assessing whether Bulgarian is a safe third country. He cited the country information available on Bulgaria and claimed that they would face inhuman and degrading treatment if they were to return to Bulgaria.

The Hungarian authorities maintained that their decision was lawful and added that the cases of the two claimants will be handled together and their deportation will take place at the same time. The authorities also argued that the purpose behind the Dublin system is to clarify which country is responsible for processing the application; it is not up to the claimants to decide where their application will be processed.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Court did not agree with the Hungarian authorities on their assessment of the situation under the Dublin Regulation. The Regulation sets out the criteria to consider, when deciding which country is responsible for the applicants. The specific order has to be respected throughout the assessment.

According to the evidence provided by the Bulgarian authorities, only the first claimant has submitted an application in Bulgaria, whereas his underage sibling did not. Therefore, the Court found that as the child had submitted his application in Hungary, Hungary is responsible for processing it.

The Court further observed that the older applicant is a family member of the underage applicant and there has been no decision made regarding the refugee status of latter. Consequently, the older brother’s case will need to be heard in the same country, where the application of the minor is examined. Therefore, Hungary is also responsible for processing the application for the first claimant. Citing Article 10 of the Regulation, the Court concluded that Hungary is responsible for the processing of both applications and ordered the Hungarian authorities to annul the deportation orders and examine their cases.

Lastly, the Court emphasised that the authorities need to consider the fact that the claimants have been in transit zone since 24 October 2017, which is contrary to the Asylum Procedures Directive 2013/32/EU. 

Outcome: 

Appeal granted.

Observations/Comments: 

This summary was written by Yvette Talas.