Netherlands: national authorities wrongly applied Returns Directive instead of Dublin III Regulation in case of absconding

Friday, June 29, 2018

On 29 June 2018, the Council of State ruled in case 201800622/1/V3, which concerned an appeal brought by an Albanian national against the District Court decision’s not to annul the return decision and entry ban imposed on him. The applicant applied for asylum in Belgium in December 2017 and travelled to the Netherlands, where he was stopped by the police, detained and subjected to a return decision followed by an entry ban. The applicant claimed that the national authorities had wrongly applied the Returns Directive instead of the Dublin III Regulation in his specific case.

The Council of State concurred with the applicant and ruled that the District Court had failed to recognise that his case fell under the Dublin III Regulation. The Council of State differentiated this case from case no. 201800522/1/V3, in which it ruled that, since the applicant in that case had been given an explicit opportunity to apply for asylum in the Netherlands and had stated his wish not to do so, his application in France could be considered withdrawn. In contrast, the applicant in this case was not told that he could apply for asylum in the Netherlands and was not given the opportunity to do so. Therefore, his application could not be considered withdrawn and his case fell under the Dublin III Regulation. It also follows that his detention in relation to the implementation of a returns decision was unlawful.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. In March 2018, the Belgian Council for Alien Law Litigation also ruled on the distinction of the scopes of the Returns Directive and Dublin III Regulation – you can read a summary of the decision at the European Database of Asylum Law (EDAL) here.


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Dublin Transfer