CJEU - C 528/11 / Judgment Zuheyr Frayeh Halaf v Zuheyr Frayeh Halaf v Darzhavna agentsia za bezhantsite pri Ministerskia savet

Key facts of the case:
  1. This request for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of Article 3(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 343/2003 of 18 February 2003 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an asylum application lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national (OJ 2003 L 50, p. 1, ‘the Regulation’) and Articles 18, 41 and 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’).
  2. The request has been made in proceedings between Mr Halaf, an Iraqi national, and the Darzhavna agentsia za bezhantsite pri Ministerskia savet (State Agency for Refugees at the Council of Ministers, ‘the DAB’) concerning that agency’s decision refusing to commence a procedure for granting refugee status to him and authorising his transfer to Greece.
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
 
The Court (Fourth Chamber) hereby rules:
  1. Article 3(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 343/2003 of 18 February 2003 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an asylum application lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national must be interpreted as permitting a Member State, which is not indicated as responsible by the criteria in Chapter III of that regulation, to examine an application for asylum even though no circumstances exist which establish the applicability of the humanitarian clause in Article 15 of that regulation. That possibility is not conditional on the Member State responsible under those criteria having failed to respond to a request to take back the asylum seeker concerned.
  2. The Member State in which the asylum seeker is present is not obliged, during the process of determining the Member State responsible, to request the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to present its views where it is apparent from the documents of that Office that the Member State indicated as responsible by the criteria in Chapter III of Regulation No 343/2003 is in breach of the rules of European Union law on asylum.
Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 

 

27-32, 40-42