France / Council of State / 416192 Ms A. v Prefecture of Essonne

Key facts of the case: 

Mr. and Mrs. A. presented a request for asylum for themselves and their son D to the Prefecture of Essonne on 27 June 2017. In two Orders of 2 November 2017, the Prefect of Essonne ordered their transfer to the Norwegian authorities, who were responsible for their first request for asylum, and put them under house arrest while awaiting this transfer. The applicants did not contest this decision but submitted on 16 November 2017 a request that their asylum application be examined in France, pursuant to Articles 16 and 17 of the Dublin III Regulation, in view of the state of health of their other child M, born with congenital heart disease on 16 August 2017.  On 24 November 2017, the Prefecture of Essonne informed Mrs A. that her transfer and that of her child D by air to Norway was set for 5 December 2017. On 29 November 2017, the applicant lodged an application to the judge for summary procedures at the Administrative Court of Versailles requesting that the Prefect of Essonne be ordered to register her asylum application and that of her husband, and to suspend the execution of the deportation order concerning her and her son D. In an Order of 1 December 2017, the judge of summary procedures at this court rejected this request. On 1 December 2017, the Prefecture of Essonne informed Mr A. of his transfer to Norway on the same flight as his wife and son D.

On 3 December 2017, Mrs. A. asked the judge for summary procedures of the Council of State to annul this order and to enjoin the Prefect of Essonne to suspend the carrying out of the transfer which concerned three of the members of the family A. She also asked for her request for asylum, and that of her husband, presented in accordance with articles 16 and 17 of the regulation (EU) n° 604/2013, to be registered in France.

Outcome of the case:

The Council of State considered that the procedure for the readmission of Mr. and Mrs. A. and of their son D to Norway had been implemented without taking into account the birth and the health condition of their son M.

According to the Council of State, it consequently from now on falls on the administration, in accordance with the provisions of the Dublin III regulation, to examine to what extent the health of their three-month-old son M is compatible with the legal transfer to Norway of family A., taking into account the medical certificates produced at the court. In the event of an affirmative answer, it will moreover rest with the administration to ensure that the Norwegian authorities agree to receive the four members of family, and more particularly to confirm than child M will be able receive the care which his medical state requires upon arrival. In the event of a negative response to the one of these two series of checks, it will fall on the administration to rule on their request for asylum presented within the framework of the discretionary clause of Article 17-1 of this regulation, implemented by the last subparagraph of Article L. 742-2 of the Code for the entry and stay of foreigners and the right to asylum. With regard to the delays inherent in the carrying out of these checks, the decrees on transfer to Norway of 2 November 2017 could not, in any event, be carried out in the following days, as the Minister of the Interior underlined at the time of the hearing.

 

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 

In accordance with point 14 of the preamble to this Regulation, [Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 setting out the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for the examination of an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person, known as the Dublin III Regulation]: 'In accordance with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, respect for family life should be a primary consideration for Member States in the application of this Regulation' and according to point 15 of the same preamble: 'The processing together of the applications for international protection of the members of one family by a single Member State makes it possible to ensure that the applications are examined thoroughly, the decisions taken in respect of them are consistent and the members of one family are not separated.'

4. Under article 17 of the same regulation: 1. 'By way of derogation from Article 3(1), each Member State may decide to examine an application for international protection lodged with it by a third-country national or a stateless person, even if such examination is not its responsibility under the criteria laid down in this Regulation'. In Case C-578/16 PPU of 16 February 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union interpreted paragraph 1 of that article in the light of Article 4 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union that, under the terms of which, 'No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment', in the sense that when 'the transfer of an asylum seeker with a particularly serious mental or physical illness would result in a real and proven risk of a significant and permanent deterioration in the state of health of the person concerned, that transfer would constitute inhuman and degrading treatment, within the meaning of that article'. The Court concluded that the authorities of the Member State concerned, including its courts, must verify with the Member State responsible that the necessary care will be available on arrival and that the transfer will not result in a real risk of a significant and permanent worsening of his state of health', stating that if this is the case, and 'that the state of health of the asylum seeker concerned is not expected to improve in the short term, or that the suspension of the procedure for a long period would risk worsening the condition of the person concerned', the requesting Member State could choose to examine the applicant's request itself by making use of the the 'discretionary clause' provided for in Article 17 (1) of the Dublin III Regulation.

 

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter (original language): 

Aux termes du point 14 du préambule de ce règlement [règlement (UE) n° 604/2013 du Parlement européen et du Conseil du 26 juin 2013 établissant les critères et mécanismes de détermination de l'Etat membre responsable de l'examen d'une demande de protection internationale introduite dans l'un des Etats membres par un ressortissant de pays tiers ou un apatride, dénommé règlement Dublin III]: ‘Conformément à la convention européenne de sauvegarde des droits de l'homme et des libertés fondamentales et la charte des droits fondamentaux de l'Union européenne, le respect de la vie familiale devrait être une considération primordiale pour les États membres lors de l'application du présent règlement.’” et “selon le point 15 du même préambule : ‘Le traitement conjoint des demandes de protection internationale des membres d'une famille par un même État membre est une mesure permettant d'assurer un examen approfondi des demandes, la cohérence des décisions prises à leur égard et d'éviter que les membres d'une famille soient séparés. ‘. 

4. Aux termes de l'article 17 du même règlement : ‘1. Par dérogation à l'article 3, paragraphe 1, chaque État membre peut décider d'examiner une demande de protection internationale qui lui est présentée par un ressortissant de pays tiers ou un apatride, même si cet examen ne lui incombe pas en vertu des critères fixés dans le présent règlement’. Dans son arrêt C-578/16 PPU du 16 février 2017, la Cour de justice de l'Union européenne a interprété le paragraphe 1 de cet article à la lumière de l'article 4 de la Charte des droits fondamentaux de l'Union européenne, aux termes duquel ‘Nul ne peut être soumis à la torture, ni à des peines ou traitements inhumains ou dégradants’ dans le sens que, lorsque le transfert d'un demandeur d'asile présentant une affection mentale ou physique particulièrement grave entraînerait le risque réel et avéré d'une détérioration significative et irrémédiable de son état de santé, ce transfert constituerait un traitement inhumain et dégradant, au sens de cet article. La Cour en a déduit que les autorités de l'État membre concerné, y compris ses juridictions, doivent vérifier auprès de l'État membre responsable que les soins indispensables seront disponibles à l'arrivée et que le transfert n'entraînera pas, par lui-même, de risque réel d'une aggravation significative et irrémédiable de son état de santé, précisant que, le cas échéant, s'il s'apercevait que l'état de santé du demandeur d'asile concerné ne devait pas s'améliorer à court terme, ou que la suspension pendant une longue durée de la procédure risquait d'aggraver l'état de l'intéressé, l'État membre requérant pourrait choisir d'examiner lui-même la demande de celui-ci en faisant usage de la ‘clause discrétionnaire’ prévue à l'article 17, paragraphe 1, du règlement Dublin III.

 

Language: 
French
Deciding body (original language): 
Conseil d'Etat
Language: 
French