C-616/19: CJEU judgment on inadmissibility of applications for international protection in Ireland, where subsidiary protection has been granted by another Member State

Thursday, December 10, 2020

On 10 December 2020, the CJEU published its judgment in case C‑616/19, concerning a preliminary ruling request on the interpretation of Article 25 of the Procedures Directive (Directive 2005/85/EC). 
The request was made in three sets of proceedings between M.S., M.W. and G.S, respectively, and the Minister for Justice and Equality (Ireland). M.S, M.W and G.S are third-country nationals who, after having been granted subsidiary protection in Italy, applied for international protection in Ireland. The Irish authorities rejected their applications on the grounds that the applicants had received protection in another Member State. The applicants brought annulment proceedings for these decisions before the High Court, who stayed proceedings and referred three questions relating to the interpretation of the rules on admissibility set down in Article 25 of the Procedures Directive 2005/85/EC, in light of the Dublin III Regulation (Regulation 604/2013).
The CJEU found that, in principle and given that Ireland is neither bound by the recast Procedures Directive 2013/32/EU nor the Dublin II Regulation (Council Regulation 343/2003), the authorities are required to examine an asylum application in a situation in which an asylum applicant benefits from subsidiary protection in another Member State, as the authorities may not adopt an inadmissibility decision under the Recast Procedures Directive or initiate a take-back request under Dublin II. 
However, this solution would conflict with the logic of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and the objectives of the Procedures Directive and Dublin III Regulation. The CJEU considered that the EU legislature did not intend for Member States to be required to examine an asylum application where the applicant already benefits from subsidiary protection status in another Member State and recalled the fundamental importance of the principle of mutual trust in EU law. Further, it referred to the objective of limiting secondary movements of asylum applicants between Member States, which could be caused by differences in legal frameworks, as would be the case if Ireland was required to examine asylum applications brought by applicants who could already benefit from subsidiary protection elsewhere. In view of the context and objectives of the CEAS, the CJEU held that Member States must be able to reject as inadmissible an asylum application, where the applicant has already been granted subsidiary protection in another Member State. 
In conclusion, the CJEU held that Article 25(2) of the Procedures Directive must be interpreted as not precluding legislation of a Member State subject to the Dublin III Regulation but not bound by the corresponding recast Procedures Directive from considering an application for international protection inadmissible where the applicant already benefits from subsidiary protection status in another Member State.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. 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.                               

Inadmissible application
Subsidiary Protection