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Austria / Highest Administrative Court / Ra 2017/19/0602

Syrian national vs. Austria

Policy area:
Justice, freedom and security
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Highest Administrative Court
Decision date:
03/05/2018

Key facts of the case 

A Syrian national entered the EU in Bulgaria and applied for asylum there on 18 November 2016. Following this, she applied for asylum again in Austria on 30 Dezember 2016. The Federal Asylum Authority consulted the Bulgarian authorities and thereafter rejected the application of the applicant on 15 May 2017 stating that according to the Dublin III regulation, Bulgaria is competent to decide on the application and that the removal to Bulgaria is permissable. The Federal Administrative Court found the appeal brought forward by the claimant to be unfounded. It further declared that the revision to the Highest Adminstrative Court was not permissible. The claimaint thereafter filed a claim to the Constituional Court, which refused to deal with the case, but transferred the case to the Highest Adminstrative Court. In this revision, the Syrian national claimed that her procedural rights were violated and hence requested to lift the decision on removal. According to the claim made in the revision, it is not clear whetherwould indeed not raise concerns with regards to Art. 3 ECHR when looking at the findings made by Federal Administrative Court in respect to the accommodation conditions of asylum seekers in Bulgaria and given that the applicant was pregnant at the time of the decision on the asylum application.

The key legal question raised by the Court

Is the removal of a pregnant asylum applicant to Bulgaria harmless in light of Art. 4 CFR and Art. 3 ECHR?

Outcome of the case

The Highest Administrative Court found that the Federal Administrative Court refered to outdated country information on Buglaria stemming from 2015 and 2016. Based on these findings, the Highest Administrative Court regarded it as not comprehensible that the Federal Adminsistrative Court concluded that the applicant would not face any risks according to Art. 4 CFR and Art. 3 ECHR. The judgement by the Highest Administrative Court would lack considerations abouth whether the then pregnant applicant would be suitably accommodated in Bulgaria without having to fear a violation of her rights guaranteed by Art. 4 CFR and Art. 3 ECHR.