The Netherlands: Tribunal ruling Dublin II ‘Chain Rule’ no longer exists under Dublin III

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

On 14 July 2020 the Tribunal in the Hague (‘Rechtbank Den Haag’) ruled (in case NL20.6683) that the ‘Chain Rule’, which was previously embedded in Article 20 (2) of Dublin II Regulation, is no longer reflected in the current Article 29 Dublin III Regulation.

The applicant absconded after Italy had accepted a ‘take back’ request from the Netherlands on 26 January 2018. It was not until 28 June 2019 that the applicant lodged a new asylum application, this time in Switzerland. After Italy had accepted the new Swiss ‘take back’ request on 27 July 2019, the applicant absconded again. Finally, the applicant lodged a new application in the Netherlands before the 27 December 2019 ‘take back’ deadline expired for Italy.

On 12 March 2020, the Dutch State Secretary (‘Staatssecretaris’) for Justice and Security rejected the application because he deemed that Italy, as of February 2020, was still responsible for the applicant’s claim. He argued that the Chain Rule was applicable in this case, meaning that the 18-month time-limit restarted when the applicant lodged a new application in a third Member State (Switzerland) within the 18-month time-limit.

The Tribunal did not follow the State’s reasoning. Indeed, it instead emphasised, inter alia, that the teleological interpretation of the revised Article 29 Dublin III is not supported by its current wording. As such, it ruled that, according to Article 29 (2) of Dublin III, the Netherlands became responsible for the claimant’s application for asylum as of 27 July 2019. Consequently, the Tribunal annulled the contested decision and ordered the Minister to take a new decision that takes the Tribunal’s interpretation of Article 29 Dublin III into account. The Dutch Council of State (‘Raad van State’) has since ruled, on 12 August 2020, that the Minister does not have to execute the abovementioned judgment until its Appeal has been decided.

Photo: Edwin van Buuringen, April 2015, Flickr (CC)

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.                               

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