ECtHR - R.D. v. France, no 34648/14, 16 June 2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The European Court of Human Rights delivered a judgment on 16 June 2016 in R.D. v France in relation to the right to an effective remedy and a violation of article 3 of the Convention. The case concerns a Guinean national, R.D., who is married to a Christian and suffered from several violent reprisals on the part of her Muslim brothers and father. Her father, an influential imam, also managed to track her down in Guinea after she fled her home town and had her husband arrested. She left Guinea for France, where she sought help from associations in Reims in an attempt to obtain an address so she could lodge an asylum application. After learning that her father had followed her to France, she decided to leave France with a fake passport but was arrested at the Gare du Nord in Paris. She was served with an order for immediate removal to Guinea and subsequently applied for asylum under the fast track procedure but her application was rejected. The Paris Court decided to stay deportation for the duration of the appeal proceedings.

R.D. claimed that a return to Guinea would expose her to a real risk of treatment contrary to article 3 of the Convention and that due to the fast track procedure, she did not have access to an effective remedy, thereby breaching article 13 of the Convention. The Court decided that even though the procedure was accelerated, R.D. had enough time and knowledge of the procedure to conclude that there was no breach of article 13 read in conjunction with article 3. However, the Court concluded that returning R.D. to Guinea would amount to a breach of article 3 of the Convention for a combination of reasons. Firstly, the Court did not consider Guinea capable of ensuring protection for women in the situation of R.D. In addition to this, the medical certificates documenting earlier violence and a marriage certificate contributed to the credibility of the applicant. And finally the Court did not consider it likely that R.D.’s family would treat her differently after returning to Guinea.

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Effective access to procedures
Effective remedy (right to)
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment