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CJEU Case C-56/17 /Judgment

Bahtiyar Fathi v Predsedatel na Darzhavna agentsia za bezhantsite

Policy area:
Justice, freedom and security
Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Court (Second Chamber)
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
04/10/2018

Key facts of the case:

Reference for a preliminary ruling — Area of freedom, security and justice — Borders, asylum and immigration — Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 — Article 3 — Determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection made in one of the Member States by a third-country national — Examination of an application for international protection without an express decision on the determination of the Member State responsible for the examination — Directive 2011/95/EU — Articles 9 and 10 — Reasons for persecution based on religion — Evidence — Iranian legislation on apostasy — Directive 2013/32/EU — Article 46(3) — Effective remedy.

Outcome of the case:

On those grounds, the Court (Second Chamber) hereby rules:

  1. Article 3(1) of Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third‑country national or a stateless person, must, in a situation such as that in the main proceedings, be interpreted as not precluding the authorities of a Member State from conducting an examination on the merits of an application for international protection, within the meaning of Article 2(d) of that regulation, where there is no express decision by those authorities determining, on the basis of the criteria laid down by the regulation, that the responsibility for conducting such an examination lies with that Member State.
  2. Article 46(3) of Directive 2013/32/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection, must, in a situation such as that in the main proceedings, be interpreted as meaning that, in an action brought by an applicant for international protection against a decision dismissing his application for international protection as being unfounded, the court or tribunal with jurisdiction of a Member State is not required to examine of its own motion whether the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining that application, as provided for by Regulation No 604/2013, were correctly applied.
  3. Article 10(1)(b) of Directive 2011/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection granted, must be interpreted as meaning that an applicant for international protection who claims, in support of his application, that he is at risk of persecution for reasons based on religion does not, in order to substantiate his claims concerning his religious beliefs, have to submit statements or produce documents concerning all components of the concept of ‘religion’, referred to in that provision. The onus is, however, on the applicant to substantiate those claims in a credible manner by submitting evidence which permits the competent authority to satisfy itself that those claims are true.
  4. Article 9(1) and (2) of Directive 2011/95 must be interpreted as meaning that the prohibition, on pain of execution or imprisonment, of conduct which is contrary to the State religion of the country of origin of the applicant for international protection may constitute an ‘act of persecution’, within the meaning of that article, if that prohibition may, in practice, be enforced by such penalties by the authorities of that country, which it is for the referring court to ascertain.