Spain - Spanish Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo), Cassation Appeal, 23 February 2015 (Appeal No. 2944/2014)

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
23-02-2015
Citation:
Spanish Supreme Court, Cassation Appeal, 23 February 2015, Appeal Nº 2944/2014
Court Name:
Spanish Supreme Court, Administrative Chamber, Section 3 (the “Court”)
National / Other Legislative Provisions:
Spain - Articles 10.2
15
17 and 117.3 of the Spanish Constitution
Spain - Article 9.a)
Act 12/2009
of 30 October
regulating the Right of Asylum and Subsidiary Protection
Spain - Articles 88.1.c) and d) and 95.2.d)
Act 29/1998
of 13 July
regulating the Administrative Jurisdiction
Spain - Articles 218 and 271
Act 1/2000
of 7 January
of Civil Procedure
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Headnote: 

The Supreme Court declared that the National High Court erred when annulling the decision of the General Sub-Directorate for Asylum (Ministry of Interior) to reject the Appellant’s request for international protection. The National High Court annulled the decision but did not consider the Appellant’s core claim: the request for international protection.

As the National High Court was in possession of all necessary facts required to decide on the substance of the request by the Appellant for international protection, it should have been able to determine as such. As a result, the Supreme Court upheld the appeal.

Facts: 

Mr. Alexander Pavlov (the “Appellant”) appealed the decision of the Administrative Chamber of the Spanish National High Court (“Audiencia Nacional”). In its ruling, the National High Court had annulled the decision of the General Sub-Directorate for Asylum and had rejected the Appellant’s request for international protection, but it did not grant the Appellant’s request for asylum. The National High Court limited itself to ask the Ministry of the Interior to reconsider the Appellant’s request, taking into account its decision.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Appellant appealed the decision of the Spanish National High Court arguing that it erred when annulling the decision of the General Sub-Directorate for Asylum because it did not adopt a final decision on the substance of the request for international protection.

The Supreme Court agreed with this argument. The core claim of the Appellant was the granting of asylum. As the National High Court was in possession of all necessary facts to decide on the substance of the request for international protection, it should have done so.

The Supreme Court granted the Appellant’s request for asylum on the basis that:

  1. the Appellant offered a coherent and credible account of the persecution he suffered, which was supported by a number of documents (including reports from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch);
  2. in agreement with previous case law, there was no need for proof regarding the fear of persecution;
  3.  other persons related to the Appellant’s case had been granted asylum in other countries; and
  4. witnesses provided examples of failures to uphold human rights in Kazakhstan.

It was irrelevant to the case at hand that the Criminal Chamber of the Spanish High Court had already agreed to the passive extradition of the Appellant.

Outcome: 

Appeal granted and application accepted.

Observations/Comments: 

This case summary was written by Linklaters LLP.

This case summary was proof read by Markel Redondo Ibarrondo, Junior Project Officer at ICMPD.

Other sources cited: 

Reports by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and odfoundation (Diálogo Abierto) with regard to the situation in Kazakhstan.

European Parliament resolution of 18 April 2013 on the human rights situation in Kazakhstan.

 

Case Law Cited: 

Spain - Spanish High Court (“Audiencia Nacional”), Administrative Chamber, Section 2, 17 July 2014, Appeal 405/2013

Spain - Supreme Court, 3 February 2015, Cassation Appeal 1394/2013