CJEU - C 166/13 / Judgment Sophie Mukarubega v Préfet de police and Préfet de la Seine-Saint-Denis

Key facts of the case:
 
(Reference for a preliminary ruling — Visas, asylum, immigration and other policies related to free movement of persons — Directive 2008/115/EC — Return of illegally staying third-country nationals — Procedure for the adoption of a return decision — Principle of respect for the rights of the defence — Right of an illegally staying third-country national to be heard before the adoption of a decision liable to affect her interests — Administrative authority refusing to grant such a national a resident permit as an asylum applicant and imposing an obligation to leave the territory — Right to be heard before the return decision is issued)
 
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
 
85. Since these proceedings are, for the parties to the main proceedings, a step in the action pending before the national court, the decision on costs is a matter for that court. Costs incurred in submitting observations to the Court, other than the costs of those parties, are not recoverable.
 
On those grounds, the Court (Fifth Chamber) hereby rules:
 
In circumstances such as those at issue in the main proceedings, the right to be heard in all proceedings, as it applies in the context of Directive 2008/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals, and in particular Article 6 thereof, must be interpreted as meaning that a national authority is not precluded from failing to hear a third-country national specifically on the subject of a return decision where, after that authority has determined that the third‑country national is staying illegally in the national territory on the conclusion of a procedure which fully respected that person’s right to be heard, it is contemplating the adoption of such a decision in respect of that person, whether or not that return decision is the result of refusal of a residence permit.
Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 

 

43. The right to be heard in all proceedings is now affirmed not only in Articles 47 and 48 of the Charter, which ensure respect for both the rights of the defence and the right to fair legal process in all judicial proceedings, but also in Article 41 of the Charter, which guarantees the right to good administration. Article 41(2) of the Charter provides that the right to good administration includes, inter alia, the right of every person to be heard before any individual measure which would affect him adversely is taken (judgments in M., EU:C:2012:744, paragraphs 82 and 83, and Kamino International Logistics, EU:C:2014:2041, paragraph 29).

44. As the Court stated in paragraph 67 of the judgment in YS and Others (C‑141/12 and C‑372/12, EU:C:2014:2081), it is clear from the wording of Article 41 of the Charter that it is addressed not to the Member States but solely to the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the European Union (see, to that effect, judgment in Cicala, C‑482/10, EU:C:2011:868, paragraph 28). Consequently, an applicant for a resident permit cannot derive from Article 41(2)(a) of the Charter a right to be heard in all proceedings relating to his application.