Germany: Transfer to France suspended due to situation for Dublin returnees

Thursday, April 25, 2019

On 25 April, the Administrative Court of Arnsberg ruled to suspend the transfer of an asylum applicant and her daughter to France under the Dublin III Regulation 604/2013 (the Dublin Regulation) as it would violate their rights under Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

The Court stated that deportation to poor humanitarian conditions can only be determined to be inhuman or degrading treatment in very exceptional individual cases and if the requirements of the threshold of severity of Article 3 are met. It held that this threshold is met in situations in which third-country nationals cannot secure a livelihood, find shelter or access basic medical care.

The applicant in the instant case was previously transferred to France from Germany in 2018 along with her daughter. She alleged that upon arrival in France they had lived on the street, and that when they tried to register with the refugee shelter at the airport, she was informed that she must remain destitute for 45 days before they could register their asylum claim and access to the shelter would only be granted after 3 months. As a result, the applicant and her daughter slept in the airport and on the street. During this time, the applicant was raped. She stated that if she did not have to care for her daughter, she would have committed suicide. The applicant contacted her uncle in Germany, and traveled there again.

With reference to the AIDA Country Report: France, 2018 Update, the Court recognised the complicated situation for Dublin returnees in accessing the asylum procedure. It described the complex pre-registration procedures with Plateformes d'accueil des demandeurs d'asile(PADA) in local prefectures, following which they must register in 1 of the 34 Guichets uniques de demande d'asile (GUDA), as well as the issues with the telephone reporting system implemented in the Ile de France region. With regard to access to accommodation centres, the Court noted difficulties of access and the limited number of places. 

In light of the above, the Court held that Dublin returnees in France must use a high degree of personal initiative in order to find accommodation and to gain access to care. Given the experiences of the applicant when she was previously in France and her current psychological state, the Court found that a return to France would risk violating her right to not be exposed to inhuman or degrading treatment under Article 3 of the ECHR. The Court thus ordered the suspension of the Dublin transfer.

Based on an unofficial translation by the EWLU team.


This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly 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.


Dublin Transfer
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Reception conditions