Italy: Court must provide details of preliminary assessment of real risk present in countries of origin in return decisions

Thursday, October 10, 2019

On 10 October 2019, the first civil section of the Italian Supreme Court published its ruling compelling first and second instance trial judges to cite the country of origin information examined in a cases denying subsidiary protection.

The applicant, a Gambian citizen, appealed a decision denying his subsidiary protection. On 2 September 2019, the Court rejected the applicant’s appeal on the grounds that it did not meet the requirements for recognition of international protection status. In particular, the Court of Appeal found the applicant failed on the credibility test and the information provided did not sufficiently detail the possibility of serious harm in the event of his return to his country of origin.

Regarding the presence of indiscriminate violence in situations of armed conflict in the country of origin, the Court of Appeal found that there the general situation in the Gambia was not comparable to the examples of violence in more dangerous contexts. The applicant therefore complained that the Court had failed in its preliminary assessment of the real risk facing the applicant if he were to be returned to the Gambia.

The Supreme Court held that when the judge is assessing this matter, they must verify ex officio the situation in the country of origin in light of accurate and up to date information available at the time of making the decision. The Court must then cite the consulted sources in the judgment to allow the applicant to review how the decision was reached. The Supreme Court therefore annulled the decision and returned the case to the Court of Appeal for a re-examination of the merits.

Thank you to Francesca Zalambani, Legal Assistant at ECRE, for assisting us with the summary. 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 pusexblished but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.



Country of origin information
Credibility assessment
Serious harm
Subsidiary Protection