Tag Archives: ECHR

15 October 2013

No Asylum for ICC Witnesses, but no return to the DRC either

The District Court of Amsterdam held yesterday, on 14 October 2013, that three witnesses detained at the International Criminal Court since May 2011 are not eligible for asylum in the Netherlands. They are suspected of involvement in crimes against humanity in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and as such can be excluded from asylum under Article 1F of the Refugee Convention. Despite this, the Court held that the witnesses could not be returned to the DRC as there is a real risk that they will be detained, subjected to an unfair trial, and possibly given the death penalty. As such, the Court held that to return the witnesses would be contrary to the European Convention of Human Rights, in particular Article 6.

Source: De Rechtspraak | Court forbids deportation of Congolese witnesses

18 October 2013

SHARES Seminar: A New Framework for Allocating International Responsibility: the EU Accession to the European Convention on Human Rights

On 18 October 2013, a seminar will be held in Amsterdam entitled A New Framework for Allocating International Responsibility: the EU Accession to the European Convention on Human Rights.

On 5 April 2013, a draft agreement was concluded on the modalities for the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights. The seminar critically reflects on one key aspect of the draft agreement: the allocation of international responsibility between the EU and its member states, as well as between the member states. In particular, it reviews whether the agreement adequately addresses the gaps in human rights protection that presently arise from the specific relationship between the EU and its member states.

During this seminar, the issues of attribution and responsibility; the co-respondent mechanism; and the allocation of responsibility within the legal order of the EU will be discussed. (more…)

1 June 2013

Transfer of vulnerable asylum seeker to Italy not in violation of ECHR

The European Court of Human Rights declared inadmissible a complaint brought against Italy and the Netherlands of an asylum seeker whose transfer to Italy was ordered by the Dutch authorities pursuant to the EU Dublin Regulation (Mohammed Hussein a.o. v the Netherlands and Italy). The Court’s rigorous scrutiny of the treatment of asylum seekers in Italy suggests that it aimed to set a standard for similar cases.

After the European Court had declared the intra-EU transfer of an asylum seeker to Greece in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights in January 2011 (the case of M.S.S., see also here), litigation in several Member States shifted to other allegedly unsafe countries for asylum seekers, in particular Italy. Some NGOs highlighted failures in the Italian protection system and advised to refrain from deporting asylum seekers to Italy (see here and here). (more…)

15 April 2013

Shared responsibility after EU accession to the ECHR revisited

After almost three years of negotiations a final draft agreement on the accession of the EU to the European Convention on Human Rights has been published (here). I considered it therefore appropriate to revisit some of the criticisms I made on an earlier draft in this blog (here). In line with this blog’s remit, I shall again focus on the issue of shared responsibility and will in particular aim to explain the workings of the co-respondent mechanism, which is the agreement’s central innovation.

As explained in my previous post one of the key challenges for the negotiators of the accession agreement was to create, as required by Protocol 8 to the Lisbon Treaty, ‘the mechanisms necessary to ensure that proceedings by non-Member States and individual applications are correctly addressed to Member States and/or the Union as appropriate.’ The background to this is that it is chiefly the EU’s Member States which apply European Union law. Thus where a provision of EU law is (allegedly) in violation of the ECHR, a claimant will be confronted with an act by a Member State authority and will consequently seek remedies in the courts of that Member State. If these remedies are unsuccessful, the claimant can file an individual application with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The respondent in such a case would be the Member State. (more…)

21 January 2013

Witnesses in ICC Detention Centre not within the jurisdiction of the Netherlands

On 17 December 2012, the Court of Appeal of The Hague decided that three Congolese witnesses who had testified before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and who were still being detained in the ICC Detention Centre in the Hague, were not within the jurisdiction of the Netherlands in the sense of Article 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The three witnesses had applied for asylum in the Netherlands. However, the Court held that the Netherlands was not obliged to take over the witnesses from the ICC. The Court followed the judgment of the ECtHR in the case Djokaba Lambi Longa v. The Netherlands (8 October 2012, application no. 33917/12).

Source: Gerechtshof 's-Gravenhage | Judgment, 18 December 2012 | LJN: BY6075 | 200.114.941/01 (in Dutch)

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