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Greek third country cases


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The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights has intervened in a Strasbourg case on Greek refugee protection – or rather lack of it:

The Commissioner concluded that current asylum law and practice in Greece are not in compliance with international and European human rights standards, expressing at the same time his full support to the Greek government’s decision and ongoing efforts to overhaul the refugee protection system and overcome its current serious deficiencies.

This third party intervention is the first one of this kind made by the Commissioner under Article 36, paragraph 2, of the European Convention on Human Rights. In another case in 2007, the Commissioner replied to questions put forward by the Court relating to the situation of an applicant.

It is an interesting development and may have ramifications for the third country cases currently pending on removal under the Dublin II regulation. News is that the most recent test case on removals to Greece was heard in late February but judgment is awaited and may not be available until after Easter. Whether the Court of Appeal would be willing to consider this intervention now that submissions are over is far from clear, so it may lead to yet further challenges if the current one fails.

Interested in refugee law? You might like Colin's book, imaginatively called "Refugee Law" and published by Bristol University Press.

Communicating important legal concepts in an approachable way, this is an essential guide for students, lawyers and non-specialists alike.

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The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.


2 Responses

  1. Interesting reading the intervention…

    “In 2009, a total of 15 928 asylum applications were lodged in Greece; there were 11 recognitions of Convention refugee status and 18 grants of humanitarian status or subsidiary protection. The Commissioner has noted with concern that in 2009 the recognition rate at first instance was 0,04% for Convention refugee status and 0,06% for the other two statuses.”

    1. Horrendous. But the UKBA argument in Nasseri was evil genius: the Greeks are so hopeless that they actially remove nobody, so there is no risk of refoulement back to Afghanistan or wherever.