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European Database of Asylum Law


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I came across the European Database of Asylum Law (EDAL) yesterday (hat tip to the Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Newsletter (FRLAN)) and thought it was worth sharing with readers. It is funded by the European Commission’s European Refugee Fund and run by the Irish Refugee Council and ECRE in partnership.

The database includes handpicked important cases and other materials from various jurisdictions across the EU and groups them by various themes. For example, one can look at cases on exclusion clauses, on indiscriminate violence or on unaccompanied minors. The themes are often subdivided to help you browse and find useful authorities.

A few words from their website about their criteria for selecting cases for inclusion on the database:

The primary focus of EDAL is to collect case law that is relevant to the interpretation of the Qualification and Asylum Procedures Directives; however important cases on the Reception Conditions Directive and the Dublin II Regulation are also included. Cases are selected where a significant point of law is discussed and the reasoning of the decision-maker is evident and instructive. This includes, for example, precedent setting cases and cases that contribute to policy changes at the national level. In addition, cases are selected if they were considered significant and therefore should be shared with decision-makers and practitioners in other Member States, regardless of the outcome. The court level of case summaries varies across each jurisdiction. The decisions of administrative tribunals or semi-judicial bodies are also included.

From even my quick review of the site I can see that there are some omissions. The material on unaccompanied minors does not yet include any reference to our Court of Appeal case of KA (Afghanistan), which I would have thought is important, nor to the recent Court of Justice case of Germany v Y and Z on religious persecution and Ahmadis. The hand picking process perhaps sacrifices a little speed for the sake of intelligent filtering, which adds considerable value and is a worthwhile tradeoff in the circumstances.

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.