CJEU: Case C-695/15 PPU Mirza, reference for preliminary ruling by Debrecen Administrative and Labour Court (Hungary)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

On 23 December 2015,  the Debrecen Administrative and Labour Court in Hungary has referred a number of questions to the CJEU for an urgent preliminary ruling in Case C-695/15 PPU, Mirza. The case relates to a national of Pakistan who claimed asylum in Hungary in August 2015, having entered from Serbia. He then left his designated place of residence and his application was discontinued by the Hungarian authorities as he was deemed to have abandoned his application. The applicant ended up in the Czech Republic which made a ‘take back’ request to Hungary pursuant to the Dublin III Regulation, which was accepted. After being transferred he once again applied for international protection in Hungary, and was detained in the course of the asylum procedure. His application was refused as inadmissible on the basis that he had entered via Serbia which had been classified in Hungarian law as a safe third country. He lodged a request for legal remedy to the referring court to review this decision.

The Court considered it necessary to refer to the CJEU a number of questions in relation to the interpretation of the safe third country concept under the Dublin III Regulation and anunofficial English translation of the questions referred is set out below:

1) How is Article 3 (3) of Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council, establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person (the Dublin III Regulation), to be interpreted?

a) Can Member States exercise the right to send an applicant to a safe third country only prior to determining the Member State responsible, or also after determining the Member State responsible?

b) Does the interpretation change if the Member State determines its own responsibility not when the application is initially lodged with such Member State in accordance with Article 7 (2) and Chapter III of the Dublin III Regulation, but receives the applicant from another Member State upon a request for transfer or take back in accordance with Chapters V-VI of the Dublin III Regulation?

2) If, in the interpretation of the Court of Justice of the European Union to Question 1), the right of a Member State to send an applicant to a safe third country may also be exercised after taking charge in accordance with the Dublin procedure:

Can Article 3 (3) of the Dublin III Regulation be interpreted in such a way that Member States may also exercise this right if, in the course of the Dublin procedure, the transferring member state was not informed of the exact national provisions pertaining to the exercise of that right and the national practice followed?

3) Can Article 18 (2) of the Dublin III Regulation be interpreted in such a way that, in the case of an applicant taken back pursuant to Article 18(1)c), the procedure is to be continued from the same stage as where it had been interrupted in the previous procedure?

Based on an unofficial translation. 


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Dublin Transfer
Inadmissible application
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Request to take back
Safe third country