With judgment 2272 of May 15, 2017, the highest Italian administrative court annulled the transfer to Hungary of an asylum seeker pursuant to Regulation 604/2013, thus confirming its previous position expressed in judgment no. 4004/2016.
The judgment clearly states that the situation in Hungary, at least since June 2015, has deteriorated to such an extent that the court believes that “asylum seekers’ fundamental rights in Hungary are strongly compromised, and their reception conditions, even considering all the difficulties related to migration flows in Eastern Europe, do not meet the minimum treatment standards of international protection, and in any case those provided for by art. 3(2) of the aforementioned EU Regulation 604/2013 and art. 4 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union “.
This finding is particularly relevant in view of the fact that the court went beyond the information requested to and provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to the State Council, “the note accurately describes the legal framework of the provisions which in abstract terms govern [asylum seekers’] reception in Hungary, also in the light of the changes that came into effect on 28 March, but does not provide any clarification as to the actual treatment asylum seekers are subjected to in that country” (Council of State, judgment No. 2272 of 2017).
This is an interesting pronouncement because it highlights and reaffirms the need – repeatedly stated by the European Court of Human Rights – to use multiple sources in examining information on possible violations of art. 3 ECHR, considering to this end both the legal framework and the factual situation in the country where the referral should take place.
Based on these considerations, the highest administrative court in Italy upheld the applicant’s claim, based on information recently circulated by UNHCR and other international organizations which expressly requested the temporary suspension of all transfers to Hungary.
The State Council therefore held that there is a risk that the applicant would be exposed to inhumane and degrading treatment if returned to Hungary, and for this reason annulled his transfer.
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Original article translated by Alberto Pasquero