This fact sheet is devoted to jurisprudence preventing transfers under Regulation 604/2013 (Dublin III Regulation) to Hungary. Its scope is limited to case law from European Union Member States supported by policy and non-governmental material to illustrate the grounds on which the judiciary are suspending transfers to Hungary. In light of the substantial amount of case law on the topic, the note in no way purports to be a fully comprehensive review of Member State practice, nonetheless the jurisprudence included serves as a unique tool for practitioners to consult and use in their own respective litigation. It is to be seen against the backdrop of the Commission’s infringement proceedings against Hungary and the new systematic monitoring process outlined in the European Agenda on Migration, as well as several cases pending before the European Court of Human Rights and an urgent preliminary reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union lodged by Debrecen Administrative and Labour Court in the context of asylum law. The note therefore provides a further layer of examination and analysis, one which is jurisprudential in nature and which should be borne in mind when evaluating the adherence of Hungary to European and
international legal obligations.
Firstly, regarding the asylum procedures, the Commission is concerned that there is no possibility to refer to new facts and circumstances in the context of appeals and that Hungary is not automatically suspending decisions in case of appeals – effectively forcing applicants to leave their territory before the time limit for lodging an appeal expires, or before an appeal has been heard. The recast Asylum Procedures Directive establishes common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection and sets clear rules on how to apply for asylum. It applies to all applications for international protection made in the territory, including at the border, in the territorial waters or in the transit zones of the Member States.
Secondly, regarding rights to translation and interpretation, the Commission is concerned the Hungarian law on fast-tracked criminal proceedings for irregular border crossings does not respect provisions of the Directive on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings, which ensures that every suspect or accused person who does not understand the language of the proceedings is provided with a written translation of all essential documents, including any judgment.
Thirdly, on the fundamental right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial under Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, there are concerns as to the fact that under the new Hungarian law dealing with the judicial review of decisions rejecting an asylum application a personal hearing of the applicants is optional. Judicial decisions taken by court secretaries (a sub-judicial level) lacking judicial independence also seem to be in breach of the Asylum Procedures Directive and Article 47 of the Charter.
Human Rights Watch encountered several asylum seekers who said they had been returned to Hungary from Austria, Germany, and Slovakia under the Dublin III Regulation, which allows an EU country to return most asylum seekers to the first EU country to which they arrived. This is despite the lack of meaningful access to asylum under Hungary’s abusive border regime and its routine detention of asylum seekers, including vulnerable people, in poor conditions.
Hungary is detaining vulnerable asylum seekers and migrants under its new border regime for weeks at a time, sometimes in poor conditions, Human Rights Watch said today.
Pregnant women, accompanied and unaccompanied children, and people with disabilities were among those detained for long periods, with women and families with young children in some cases sharing facilities with unrelated men.
Under the new border regime, asylum claims are determined through accelerated procedures, and most are rejected. Rejected asylum seekers and people convicted by Hungarian courts of irregular entry are held in immigration detention indefinitely, pending removal mainly to Serbia, though it has refused in most cases to accept such returns.
Although all three directors claimed they were holding no unaccompanied children, nine unaccompanied young people interviewed told Human Rights Watch that they were under 18 and said they had had either no age assessment or a cursory one.
Detainees in both sections of the Nyirbator detention center said the facilities were infested with bedbugs, and Human Rights Watch researchers observed rashes and bites on detainees in both parts of the facility. Staff said that eradicating the problem would be too costly.
Der „Dutch Council of State“ (das höchste niederländische Gericht in Asylangelegenheiten) hat in zwei Fällen die Rückführung nach Ungarn untersagt.
More than 1,000 refugees, most of them from war zones in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, are detained in overcrowded Hungarian prisons or detention facilities. As of 10 November, almost 700 had been sentenced to expulsion by Hungarian courts for crossing the razor-wire fence along its southern borders. More than 200 others are detained, awaiting trial. Around 500 people are in asylum detention, a separate category under Hungarian law. The Serbian government is refusing to accept most deportees from Hungary, in protest against the fence.
Die sich damit stellende Frage, ob der Antragsteller sich auf systemische Schwachstellen des Asylverfahrens und der Aufnahmebedingungen für Antragsteller in Ungarn berufen kann, kann nach der Rechtsprechung des Oberverwaltungsgerichts für das Land Nordrhein-Westfalen […], der die Kammer sich anschließt, indes derzeit u.a. angesichts der allgemeinkundigen Defizite bei der Bereitstellung ausreichender Unterbringungskapazitäten für Flüchtlinge und wegen der Änderung der ungarischen Asylgesetze im Rahmen eines vorläufigen Rechtsschutzverfahrens nicht abschließend beurteilt werden, sondern muss vielmehr einer eingehend Prüfung im Hauptsachverfahren vorbehalten bleiben.
Government rejects quota system
Therefore Hungary will not take back a single expelled illegal migrant, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office stated. János Lázár said: Western-European countries notified Hungary of the expulsion of some 40,000 people; however, they did not enter the European Union at Hungary but at Greece, and consequently, the individuals concerned must be sent back there. He added: the southern security border closure is working, and successfully prevents illegal border crossing.
1. Vor dem 20. Juli 2015 gestellte Asylanträge dürfen aufgrund der Übergangsregelung in Art. 51 Unterabsatz 1 der Richtlinie 2013/32/EU nicht allein deshalb als unzulässig behandelt werden, weil dem Antragsteller in einem anderen Mitgliedstaat bereits subsidiärer Schutz gewährt worden ist.
2. Abschiebungsanordnung und Abschiebungsandrohung stellen keine teilidentische Vollstreckungsmaßnahmen dar; die Ersetzung einer(rechtswidrigen) Abschiebungsanordnung durch eine Abschiebungsandrohung führt daher zur vollständigen Erledigung der Abschiebungsanordnung.
As discussed in Chapter III of this report, the retroactive application of the “safe third country” concept on all applicants having transited through Serbia, against the unchanged recommendation of UNHCR not to consider Serbia as a safe third country because of the lack of access to effective protection in that country, also has further implications for the operation of the Dublin Regulation. As the asylum applications of Dublin returnees may be declared inadmissible on that basis upon return in Hungary, this presents a real risk of indirect refoulement. Consequently, EU Member States must refrain from effecting transfers to Hungary, as recommended in this report.
This case relates to a Ukrainian national and her two young children, who claimed asylum in the Netherlands in April 2015. This was rejected as they had previously applied for asylum in Hungary in January 2015, and the Hungarian authorities had accepted their responsibility to process the claim pursuant to the Dublin III Regulation. The Hague District Court had granted a preliminary injunction to prevent the applicants’ removal and now considered the merits of her appeal.
With regard to the applicant’s argument that the amendments to Hungarian law of 1 August 2015 contained serious procedural shortcomings, and exposed her and her children to the risk of detention the Court considered the Hungarian asylum law was not in violation of European law. In any event, she had an effective remedy to complain to a Hungarian Court and if necessary, to lodge a complaint before the CJEU or ECtHR.
Citing Tarakhel v. Switzerland the Court emphasised the need for special protection of asylum seekers, in particular families with children, whose reception conditions must be adapted to their specific needs. It referred to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee Information Note dated 7 August 2015 which indicated that recent developments in Hungary, including the significant increase in asylum seekers to Hungary, meant that its asylum system could not deal with vulnerability, there was no screening mechanism to identify those with special needs, and the reception system was overcrowded and unhygienic. As such, there was a real risk of many Dublin transferees to Hungary being accommodated in unacceptable conditions, similar to the reception situation in Italy as discussed in Tarakhel. Given that the applicant, a single mother with young children was particularly vulnerable, guarantees should be requested from the Hungarian authorities in line with Tarakhel to avoid the risk of Article 3 ill-treatment. As the Dutch authorities failed to do so, its decision to transfer the applicants to Hungary was set aside.
The applicant in this case is a national of Afghanistan who travelled via Iran, Turkey, Greece and Hungary before claiming asylum in the Netherlands. His asylum claim was dismissed by the Secretary of State of Security and Justice and a decision was made to transfer him to Hungary pursuant to the Dublin III Regulation.
Based on the information before it, the Hague District Court considered that upon transfer to Hungary the applicant’s asylum claim would be considered under the new asylum legislation that entered into force on 1 August 2015. The Court referred extensively to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee Information Note of 7 August which set out a number of criticisms of the new Hungarian asylum law. It considered that the contents of this report had not been refuted by the Secretary of State. It concluded that the Hungarian asylum procedure, in view of the designation of Serbia as a safe third country, did not meet the requirements of the ECtHR, as there was no effective remedy against negative first instance decisions, no real access to professional legal assistance, interpreters are not available and the short deadlines and set by the Hungarian asylum procedure prevented applicants from preparing a proper defence. It concluded that the procedure did not meet the minimum requirements as set out in Article 46 of the recast Asylum Procedures Directive.
In conclusion, transfer of the applicant to Hungary would amount to a real risk of violation of Article 3 ECHR as there were systemic deficiencies in the new asylum procedure that the minimum standards as set out in M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece were not met. The decision was set aside and the Secretary of State is now obliged to make a new decision taking into consideration this ruling.