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Widely-used asylum and migration legal handbook updated

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The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and the European Court of Human Rights issue the third edition of their widely-used practical handbook on European migration and asylum law.

The Handbook on European law relating to asylum, borders and immigration is a comprehensive guide to European law in this area. It also looks at the situation of foreigners referred to by the EU as third-country nationals.

Since the 2014 edition, EU law covering asylum, border management and immigration has changed significantly. This includes laws covering new large-scale EU IT systems to manage migration. This new version also contains developments in case law.

The handbook will assist legal practitioners who are not specialists in asylum law to introduce them to the key issues. It will be useful for lawyers, judges, prosecutors, border guards, immigration officials, people who work with national authorities, non-governmental organisations and others who may deal with legal questions related to asylum.

It seeks to raise awareness and improve knowledge of relevant standards set by the European Union and the Council of Europe, particularly through case law of the EU’s Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. Where relevant, it also refers to the European Social Charter, other Council of Europe instruments and international UN treaties related to asylum.

The 10 chapters cover a range of issues. These include entering the EU, smart migration systems and their interoperability, detention, processing asylum claims, family life, forced returns, and meeting the specific needs of certain groups of people.

The handbook is available in English and French as well as in German and Italian. Other language versions will follow in 2021.

The first edition came out in 2013 followed by a second edition in 2014. There have been nearly 200,000 downloads to date. It complements other handbooks on European law covering access to justice, data protection, child rights, as well as non-discrimination.