Supreme Court issues landmark judgment regarding the protection of Article 3 rights of asylum seekers within the EU

Friday 21 February 2014

The Supreme Court has reversed the decision of the Court of Appeal regarding the appropriate test for assessing whether reception conditions for asylum seekers in an EU Member State are so inadequate as to amount to a breach of Article 3.

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Mark Symes was part of the legal team in EM (Eritrea), R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] UKSC 12, in which the Supreme Court has issued a landmark judgment on the appropriate test for assessing whether reception conditions for asylum seekers in a European Union Member State are so inadequate as to amount to inhuman and degrading treatment. The Supreme Court has reversed the decision of the Court of Appeal, which had said that only where there was a systemic failure in the country in question could an Article 3 claim succeed such as to prevent asylum seekers being returned there under the Dublin II Regulation (that instrument sets out a procedure whereby asylum seekers are normally to be returned to the first country whose border they crossed into the European Union: typically those countries where asylum seekers often face conditions of destitution and homelessness).

The full judgment is available here: EM (Eritrea), R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] UKSC 12.

Mark Symes was instructed by Charlie Bagnall of Wilsons LLP.

Mark is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team.

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