United Kingdom: Ruling on the responsibility to process asylum claims subject to Dublin III Regulation

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

On 4 December 2019, the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber (the UT) published its judgment in JR/11283/2014 [2019] on the responsibility of processing asylum claims subject to Dublin III Regulation when an individual has left the EU.

The applicant, fleeing from Iraq, travelled to Bulgaria. Due to alleged ill-treatment in Bulgaria, he travelled to Hungary and Turkey soon after. A Eurodac hit had detected the applicant having been fingerprinted in Bulgaria. However, he explained that he had been trafficked out of the EU to Turkey where he had stayed for around six months. He then made his way to the UK in the back of a lorry, unaware of which countries through which he passed. The issue to determine was whether the applicant had resided in Turkey for longer than the three-month period specified in Article 19 Dublin III. In such circumstances, responsibility for processing the applicant’s asylum request remained with the United Kingdom as the take back request did not legally arise.

While the Home Office was informed of the alleged departure from the EU at the initial interview stage, it did not take subsequent steps to investigate this matter further, nor was it addressed in the refusal letter issued to the applicant. It added that information provided after the third country return decision had been made should be treated as inadmissible “post-decision” evidence.

The UT found that the Secretary of State had acted unfairly in rejecting the truthfulness of the applicant’s assertion of facts without a more active investigation prior to its decision. Indeed, the Secretary of State had not undermined the applicant’s case such that it warranted an adverse credibility finding. Indeed, it was appropriate to determine whether the applicant had departed the EU for the requisite three months by admitting relevant post-decision evidence.

Thank you to Mark Symes, Barrister at Garden Court Chambers, for informing the EWLU team about this judgment and for assisting us with writing this summary.

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.                             

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