Germany: Federal Constitutional Court ruled against a return of a single mother with four minor children to Bulgaria

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

On 29 August 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court ruled on case 2 BvR 863/17 concerning a Syrian mother with four minor children (of 4, 9, 11 and 16 years of age) who had international protection status in Bulgaria and were ordered by the national authority, which was confirmed by the Administrative Court, to return to Bulgaria. The applicant successfully complained before the Federal Constitutional Court, which rejected the lower court’s decision and remitted the case to that Court for a new decision.

The Federal Constitutional Court found that the lower court failed to take into account the special needs and vulnerability of the family, which was mandatory in view of Articles 21 and 22 of the Reception Conditions Directive, the ECtHR’s decision in Tarakhel and the Federal Constitutional Court’s own jurisprudence (namely case 2 BvR 732 14). More specifically, the Administrative Court ought to have assessed the possibility that the vulnerable family would be given a suitable accommodation in Bulgaria in order to exclude health risks and to take their special needs into consideration. The Federal Constitutional Court recalled that this decision does not address transfers to Bulgaria in general.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. We would like to thank Magdalena Gajczyk for bringing this case to our attention.

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
Effective access to procedures
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Vulnerable person