Belgium: Council of Aliens Law Litigation suspend transfers to Italy

Monday, May 4, 2015

Two separate decisions made by the Belgian Council of Aliens Law Litigation (CALL) on 27 Apriland 28 April 2015 respectively, suspended the decisions to transfer an Iraqi and a Congolese national to Italy.
The applicants had both lodged asylum applications in Belgium which had been refused with an order to leave the territory on the basis that Italy, under Article 13.1 of Dublin IIIRegulation, was competent to deal with their asylum requests. The applicants subsequently lodged requests with the CALL to suspend this transfer under the ‘extremely urgent procedure’.

Accepting that the imminent transfer of the applicants to Italy qualified these requests as falling within the remit of ‘extreme urgency’, the Council undertook an examination of each of the points raised by the applicants related to the possible violations of the applicants’ rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), specifically Article 3 (no-one shall be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment), should they be returned to Italy.
The applicants had submitted that if returned to Italy there was a risk that their applications would not be handled correctly and that there were serious violations in both the procedural and reception systems for asylum seekers in Italy. They, relied on information provided by theAsylum Information Database (AIDA) reports on Italy which had noted that Dublin returnees may in practice have limited access to reception facilities in Italy, and that returnees were only guaranteed a short period in these facilities. It was further noted that a recent sharp increase of migrants to Italy had put further strains on the ability of Italy to provide facilities for the applicants, and they could face a lack of accommodation, legal assistance, and financial support.

The Council found that the above conditions could amount to serious and irreparable harm, and thus if the applicants were returned to Italy, they may be at risk of inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of Article 3 ECHR. The Council thus suspended the transfer decisions.

The ELENA Weekly Legal Update would like to thank Sophie Copinschi and Mieke Van den Broeck for notifying us of these decisions.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE, the IRC or its partners.



Dublin Transfer
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Material reception conditions
Procedural guarantees
Reception conditions
Relevant Documentation
Relevant Facts
Right to remain pending a decision (Suspensive effect)