Finland Supreme Administrative Court: aged-out asylum seekers should be considered minors when applying the Dublin criteria

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

On 9 May 2017, the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland ruled on case KHO: 2017: 77 on whether an applicant who reached the age of majority during the asylum proceedings ought to be considered an unaccompanied minor under the Dublin III Regulation. The applicant was under age when he was registered by the Bulgarian and Hungarian authorities and also when he later applied for asylum in Finland. The question was if, in a situation where an asylum seeker reaches the age of majority during the asylum procedure, his application ought to be assessed in Finland in accordance with Article 8(4) of the Dublin III Regulation (“[the] Member State responsible shall be that where the unaccompanied minor has lodged his or her application for international protection, provided that it is in the best interests of the minor”).
The Supreme Court considered that the phrasing of Article 8(4) of the Dublin III Regulation and the CJEU’s jurisprudence (e.g. MA and others (C-648/11)), required the date of an applicant’s submission for asylum to be the decisive date when applying the Dublin criteria. Therefore, asylum seekers who turn eighteen during the asylum proceedings are to be considered minors when applying the Dublin Regulation. Consequently, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled that Finland was the Member State responsible for assessing the asylum application.

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.



Best interest of the child
Child Specific Considerations
Dublin Transfer
Vulnerable person