About EDAL

The database

The European Database of Asylum Law (EDAL) is an online database that contains asylum-related case law from 22 European states, the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights. Our work covers jurisprudence from the following states: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom. The database is managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE).

The database was created through funding from European Commission’s European Refugee Fund. Its creation was coordinated by the Irish Refugee Council in partnership with ECRE; the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) also joined as partners during the second phase of development. EDAL’s objective is to strengthen the development of harmonized standards of protection within the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and, in particular, to increase consistency and quality in the interpretation and application of CEAS legislation. Currently the database is managed by ECRE.

Our aim

EDAL aims to help decision-makers, practitioners, academics, policy makers and students in their work by fostering deeper cooperation among professionals from different legal systems and cultures. As EU law is not the only source of asylum and refugee law in Member States and every Member State is a signatory to the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees, there can be discrepancies in the interpretation of international (and EU) obligations across the EU. EDAL is useful to identify cases that either highlight protection gaps in Member States or demonstrate instances where Member States have maintained standards that are higher than those required by the EU asylum acquis but correspond with international law.

The features

  • EDAL Case Summaries - The case summaries are searchable by a free text / full text search, as well as by keyword, applicable legal provisions, country of decision, country of applicant and date. Case summaries on EDAL identify EU legal provisions cited and applicable to a case (even if not cited). For example, the jurisprudence in most countries will not make reference to Article 4 of the Qualification Directive concerning the Assessment of Facts and Circumstances when discussing the issue of credibility or ‘benefit of the doubt’, although Article 4 may be relevant and applicable. Please note: Where possible EDAL notes in case summaries that a decision may not be final. It is not always possible to know if cases in national jurisdictions have been confirmed or over ruled by a higher court. We aim to update case law as soon as we are informed, however new case law may be applicable that we are not aware of.
  • News - Each week, EDAL is publishing the latest news on the most important developments in asylum jurisprudence, including the most recent communicated cases before the European Court of Human Rights. You can also receive news in your inbox by subscribing to the ELENA Weekly Legal Update here.
  • Resources - The Resources page contains information on each Member State’s legal frameworks and asylum systems – the Country Overviews –, including the standing and relationship between different courts and tribunals. You can also find general information on legislation, NGO reports and UNHCR Guidelines, as well as ECRE's interventions important asylum cases.
  • Journal EDAL has published a series of blog articles from asylum practitioners and academics covering various asylum and refugee-related topics. As of April 2020, EDAL has discontinued the publication of blog articles.

If you are interested in contributing with a case summary, or would like to inform us of an important national judgment, please kindly send an email to Stavros Papageorgopoulos (spapageorgopoulos@ecre.org). A guide to case selection criteria, style and methodology can be accessed here.