French Constitutional Council approves new law on asylum and immigration

Thursday, September 6, 2018

On September 6, the French Constitutional Council pronounced itself on Law n. 2018-778 that introduces the latest asylum and immigration reforms in France, amending several articles of the French Code of Entry and Stay of Foreigners and the Right to Asylum (CESEDA).

The Constitutional Council has held that asylum applications lodged 90 days after the entry into the territory can be legally channelled into the accelerated procedure. Additionally, it noted that the accelerated procedure for examining an asylum application does not exempt the French Asylum Office from performing an individual assessment of the case, neither hinders the right of an applicant to stay in France during the examination of the application.

Furthermore, provisions of the law that eliminate - in some cases - the requirement of consent of a person, in the use of video-hearing within the asylum procedure, were found to be in conformity with the Constitution. In this regard, the Constitutional Council noted the legislator’s purpose to achieve a proper administration of justice as well as the proper use of public funds. Moreover, it specifically held that these provisions do not affect the right to an effective remedy. Lastly, regarding the issue of smuggling cases, the French Constitutional Council reiterated that assisting a foreigner in entering into the country is a different situation than helping a foreigner move inside the country or hosting them.

The decision was issued after two appeals made by French Senators and deputies. Upon delivery of the decision, the law was published on September 10, setting out the dates and context of its entry into force.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update. 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.