ECtHR - A.M.E. v the Netherlands (no. 51428/10) [Articles 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 13] 5 February 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

The case relates to a Somali national who fled Somalia on account of his refusal to join Al-Shabaab. He later arrived in Italy, subsequently applying for asylum and receiving subsidiary protection in the country.  Travelling to the Netherlands the applicant filed a second application. This was later rejected due to Italy’s responsibility for processing the asylum application, pursuant to the Dublin Regulation and insufficient argumentation presented that a risk of ill-treatment would occur if the applicant were returned to Italy [12].  

Before the ECtHR the applicant advances that return to Italy would expose him to insalubrious living conditions along with insufficient material and procedural guarantees.  Moreover, if returned he would risk being refouled back to Somalia, given that his subsidiary protection status was of a limited 3 year duration. Additionally, the right to a fair trial would be breached as well as an effective remedy on account that Italy would not properly assess a renewed asylum application [21-26].

In response to these assertions the Court places great weight on the applicant’s statements to the Italian authorities that he was an adult, when in fact he was a minor at the time of his asylum application in both Italy and the Netherlands. In this regard the Court notes that the applicant had deliberately sought to mislead the authorities and that as there had been no flagrant disparity nor notice of a specific need for protection, the authorities had acted in good faith [28]. Given that the applicant is now an adult he will be obliged to file a new asylum application in Italy, in light of the expiration of his residence permit [31]. The Court further submits that the facts of the case are in no way synonymous to the facts of Tarakhel v Switzerland, indeed “the applicant is an able young man with no dependents” [34]. Furthermore, given that the structure and overall situation of the reception arrangements in Italy are not comparable to that of Greece M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece  and that the applicant has not established a “sufficiently real and imminent risk of hardship severe enough to fall within the scope of Article 3 ECHR”, the Court finds the complaint to be manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 para 3 (a) of the Convention and therefore inadmissible [36-37].

With regards to the other Articles litigated the Court finds that on the material in its possession there is no violation of the invoked rights and thus the Court rejects the remainder of the application [39]. 

9 February 2015
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
Duty of applicant
First country of asylum
Inadmissible application
Manifestly unfounded application
Material reception conditions
Responsibility for examining application
Subsequent application
Subsidiary Protection