Slovenia – Administrative Court decides on a case of Dublin detention

Monday, December 31, 2018

On 31 December, the Administrative Court of Slovenia ruled on an applicant's challenge against his detention pending a Dublin transfer.

The applicant, an Algerian national, presented himself at the Asylum Centre in Ljubljana with the purpose of submitting an application for international protection. The police were alerted and the applicant was transferred to a police station for identification purposes. It was then discovered that he had entered Slovenia through its border with Croatia, after having travelled via Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina. He intended to apply for international protection at the police station but was issued a detention order pending his transfer back to Croatia on the grounds that there was a risk of absconding. The decision was based on the authorities' assumption that the applicant's inconsistent narrative and irregular border crossing and stay testified to a risk of absconding and justified the need for detention.

The applicant challenged the decision before the Administrative Court of Slovenia claiming the authorities wrongly assessed the factual situation and incorrectly applied substantive and procedural rules. The applicant referred to the Al Chodor judgment, as well as the domestic Court’s case law, to claim that the criteria that formed the basis of the decision were not sufficiently objective and could not justify his detention. The Court concurred with the applicant's arguments observing that the risk involved should be established as significant and not just as a perceptible one, based on clear reasoning. In this connection, the Court found that the authorities did not explain why they considered that the applicant's claims were unconvincing to such an extent that they would justify deprivation of liberty. The applicant had reasonably presented the facts of his travel from Algeria to Europe during the court hearing and the reasons for his departure from Algeria were also consistently elaborated.

Moreover, his border crossing could not be considered ill-mannered as it is generally accepted that this is a typical and inevitable route for many refugees. Similarly, the fact that the applicant immediately presented himself at the Asylum Centre cannot be ignored when assessing his risk of absconding. Lastly, the Court emphasised that Article 28 of the Dublin III Regulation explicitly prohibits detention of a person solely for the reason that they are subject to the Regulation's procedures – a prohibition that must be considered relevant to the situation under review.

In view of the above, the Court concluded that the imposition of the detention measure should have been restrictively assessed and the reasoning thereof clearly explained. The contested act was annulled and the Court ordered the applicant's immediate release by virtue of Articles 28 (4) of the Regulation and 9 (3) of Directive 2013/33.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA 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