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Key facts

  1. This request for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of Articles 6 and 17, Article 20(3) and Article 27(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 (OJ 2013 L 180, p. 31, ‘the Dublin III Regulation’).
  2. The request has been made in proceedings between M.A., S.A. and A.Z. and the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (Ireland), the Minister for Justice and Equality (Ireland), the Attorney General (Ireland), and Ireland, concerning the decision to transfer them under the Dublin III Regulation.

Judgement

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

1.      Article 17(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 be interpreted as meaning that the fact that a Member State, designated as ‘responsible’ within the meaning of that regulation, has notified its intention to withdraw from the European Union in accordance with Article 50 TEU does not oblige the determining Member State to itself examine, under the discretionary clause set out in Article 17(1), the application for protection at issue.

2.      Regulation No 604/2013 must be interpreted as meaning that it does not require the determination of the Member State responsible under the criteria defined by that regulation and the exercise of the discretionary clause set out in Article 17(1) of that regulation to be undertaken by the same national authority.

3.      Article 6(1) of Regulation No 604/2013 must be interpreted as meaning that it does not require a Member State which is not responsible, under the criteria set out by that regulation, for examining an application for international protection to take into account the best interests of the child and to itself examine that application, under Article 17(1) of that regulation.

4.      Article 27(1) of Regulation No 604/2013 must be interpreted as meaning that it does not require a remedy to be made available against the decision not to use the option set out in Article 17(1) of that regulation, without prejudice to the fact that that decision may be challenged at the time of an appeal against a transfer decision.

5.      Article 20(3) of Regulation No 604/2013 must be interpreted as meaning that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that provision establishes a presumption that it is in the best interests of the child to treat that child’s situation as indissociable from that of its parents.