Acquiescing in Refoulement

The judgment of the US Supreme Court issued on Wednesday (Attorney General v. East Bay Sanctuary Covenant) purports to be simply procedural: It overturns a lower court injunction that prevented President Trump’s unilateral “safe third country” rule from coming into force before its legality is tested on the merits. But in truth, the Supreme Court knowingly acquiesced in the refoulement of refugees arriving at the US southern border.

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The CJEU (Unintentionally) Opens New Avenues of “Free Choice” in Asylum Law

With the CJEU judgment H & R of 2 April 2019, the never-ending story of clarifying the preconditions for Dublin transfers took a turn that will again entail needs for clarification. The CJEU’s interpretation was essentially motivated by the aim to keep, or render, the Dublin system efficient and to lessen the time and effort involved in handling secondary migrations. Was it successful?

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The ECtHR as a drowning ‘Island of Hope’?’ Its impending reversal of the interpretation of collective expulsion is a warning signal

The outcome of the case ND and NT v. Spain currently pending before the Grand Chamber may determine the future course of the Court in other migration policy cases. It will show whether the ECtHR still deserves its title as an ‘island of hope in stormy times’ or whether this island is drowning under the pressure of some of its Member States.

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Distracting from the Actual Crisis: The Proposed Asylum Ban

On November 9, 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice issued a joint interim rule in conjunction with a proclamation from the White House seeking to restrict the eligibility of persons applying for asylum protection in the United States. This interim rule, which is currently stayed by federal court litigation, is yet another attempt by the Administration to remove humanitarian protection for the most vulnerable in direct violation of both domestic and international legal obligations.

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Will the ECtHR Shake up the European Asylum System?

Are European embassies abroad obliged to issue visa to particularly vulnerable asylum seekers under European human rights? This question is at the core of the case of Nahhas and Hadri v. Belgium currently pending before the Grand Chamber of the Strasbourg Court. Too accustomed have we often become to the limits of state obligations to note how they can make the promise of universal rights fade into hypocrisy. It is crucial that in light of concrete cases the drawing of boundaries is reconsidered – to ask what the law requires, and to render visible the responsibility we have to mitigate shortcomings of the law.

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The 2018 French Asylum and Immigration Act

As many others in the European Union, the French government attempts to tackle the so-called “migrants crisis”. A new bill aims at reducing the length of asylum proceedings and fighting against irregular migration. Despite disagreements between the two chambers, the National Assembly has adopted the last version of the bill on August 1st. Left-wing Members of Parliament have brought an action before the Constitutional Council. The bill may not be enacted before the Council has given its decision, at the beginning of September. The text will no longer change, unless some provisions are deemed unconstitutional.

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The EU as the Appropriate Locus of Power for Tackling Crises: Interpretation of Article 78(3) TFEU in the case Slovakia and Hungary v Council

The CJEU’s judgment in Slovakia and Hungary v Council of 6 September 2017 raises important instutional questions. As the Court implicitly recognises the EU as the appropriate forum for taking effective action to address the emergency situation created by a sudden inflow of third country nationals, it adopts its tendency towards purposive and effectiveness-oriented jurisprudence to asylum law.

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Linking Efficiency with Fundamental Rights in the Dublin System: the Case of Mengesteab

The recent CJEU decision "Mengesteab" has two significant consequences for Member States. First, applicants have a right to challenge the procedural steps by which Member States arrive at decisions regarding responsibility for protection applications to insure their fidelity to the rules prescribed in the Dublin Regulation. Second, the duty of Member States to begin assessing which state holds this responsibility engages as soon as the competent authority identified pursuant to article 35(1) of the regulation becomes aware of a request for international protection.

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