CJEU: Case C-429/15 – Evelyn Danqua v Minister for Justice and Equality Ireland and the Attorney General, 20 October 2016

Date: 
Thursday, October 20, 2016

On 20 October 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered its judgment in the case Evelyn Danqua v Minister for Justice and Equality Ireland and the Attorney General, which relates to the interpretation of the principle of equivalence.

The case concerned a Ghanaian national, whose applications for international protection and humanitarian leave to remain were rejected. Her subsequent application for subsidiary protection was similarly rejected because this application had not been lodged within the period of 15 working days after the notification that her asylum claim had been rejected.

The Court of Appeal (Ireland) referred a request for preliminary ruling to the CJEU on “whether the principle of equivalence must be interpreted as precluding a national procedural rule, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which requires an application for subsidiary protection status to be made within a period of 15 working days of notification, by the competent authority, that the applicant whose asylum application has been rejected may make an application for subsidiary protection.”

Taking into consideration the particular human and material difficulties of the applicants for international protection, the CJEU held that a 15-day limit is particularly short and does not ensure that all those applicants are afforded a genuine opportunity to submit an application for subsidiary protection. For this reason, such a time limit cannot reasonably be justified for the purpose of ensuring the proper conduct of the procedure for examining an application for that status.

That conclusion, moreover, cannot be called into question by the need to ensure the effectiveness of return procedures, since the time limit at issue in the main proceedings is not directly linked to the return procedure, but to the rejection of the application for refugee status.

 

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Keywords: 
Effective access to procedures
Refugee Status
Return
Subsidiary Protection