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Strasbourg finds asylum claim delay breaches Articles 8 and 13 ECHR


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The judgment is in French only, unfortunately, but an English language press release is available. The summary reads as follows:

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of B.A.C. v. Greece (application no. 11981/15) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights,

a violation of Article 8 in conjunction with Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the Convention,

and that there would be:

a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) in conjunction with Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) if Mr B.A.C. were returned to Turkey.

The case concerned an asylum-seeker waiting for a decision from the authorities since 2002.

The Court found in particular that the failure by the authorities to determine the applicant’s asylum application for a period of more than 14 years without any justification had breached the positive obligations inherent in his right to respect for his private life. Furthermore, while waiting for a decision on his asylum application, the applicant’s legal status remained uncertain, thus putting him in danger of being returned to Turkey, where there was a substantial risk that he might be subjected to treatment breaching Article 3 of the Convention.

The press release goes on to provide more detail on the facts and the findings of violations. The UK’s Tim Eicke QC, recently appointed to the court, sat as one of the judges.

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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.