Czech Republic / Supreme Administrative Court / 10 Azs 122/2015 - 150 S. A. C., A. A. C., A. A. C. v the Ministry of the Interior

Key facts of the case: 

The plaintiffs – asylum-seekers – were held in administrative detention in order to be transferred to the responsible Member State (Hungary) since there was a risk of them absconding. The decision to place them in administrative detention had been cancelled by the Regional Court in Ústí nad Labem. The court stated that according to Article 28, Paragraph 2 of Dublin Regulation No. 604/2013 the Police are authorised to detain a foreign national if there is a risk of absconding, but the specific criteria to determine the ‘risk of absconding’ must be defined in national law. Since there is no such list of criteria in Czech law, Article 28 of the Dublin regulation could not be applied and the decision was therefore unlawful. The Police appealed the decision. The Supreme Administrative Court submitted a preliminary question to the CJEU; the CJEU judged that the existence of such a list is a condition sine qua non for applying Article 28 of the Dublin Regulation (decision from 15 March 2017, A. C., C-528/15). Therefore, the Supreme Administrative Court upheld the lower court’s decision. When paraphrasing the CJEU’s decision, the Supreme Administrative Court cited the Charter.

Outcome of the case: 

The court decided that national law must contain a list of criteria for determining the ‘risk of absconding’. Otherwise Article 28 of the Dublin Regulation cannot be applied.

 

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 

[15] The CJEU did not agree that the term ‘defined by law’ used in Article 2 Paragraph 1 Letter n) could be interpreted in a way that would apply to judicature upholding the established practice of administrative bodies. The detention of a foreign national represents a restriction of the fundamental right to freedom legislated in Article 6 of the Charter. According to Article 52 Paragraph 1 of the Charter, any restriction of a fundamental right can only be applied by law and must respect the substance of that fundamental right and the principle of proportionality. Also, when interpreting Article 6 of the Charter, according to Article 52 Paragraph 3 of the Charter, Article 5 of the ECHR must be taken into consideration as the minimum standard of protection. According to the ECtHR, any restriction of freedom must be lawful – not only must it be legally grounded in national law, but this legality also relates to a qualitative aspect of the national law and means that national law that permits restrictions on freedom must when applied be sufficiently precise, predictable and accessible so as to prevent  any risk of it being applied arbitrarily (see the ruling of the ECtHR from 21 October 2013, Del Río Prada vs. Spain, Complaint No. 42750/09, Paragraph 125).

 

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter (original language): 

[15] Soudní dvůr nesouhlasil s tím, že by pojem „právní předpisy“ uvedený v citovaném ustanovení mohl být chápán tak, že zahrnuje ustálenou judikaturu, která případně potvrzuje ustálenou správní praxi. Zajištění cizince je omezením výkonu základního práva na svobodu zakotveného v čl. 6 Listiny základních práv Evropské unie (dále jen „Listina EU“). Z čl. 52 odst. 1 Listiny EU vyplývá, že každé omezení výkonu tohoto práva musí být stanoveno zákonem a musí respektovat podstatu tohoto práva a zásadu proporcionality. Zároveň s ohledem na čl. 52 odst. 3 Listiny EU je třeba pro účely výkladu čl. 6 Listiny EU zohlednit čl. 5 Úmluvy jakožto minimální úroveň ochrany. Podle ESLP přitom musí být veškeré zbavení svobody zákonné nejen v tom smyslu, že musí mít právní základ ve vnitrostátním právu, ale tato zákonnost se týká také kvalitativní stránky zákona a znamená, že vnitrostátní zákon dovolující zbavení svobody musí být při svém uplatňování dostatečně dostupný, přesný a předvídatelný, aby se zabránilo veškerému riziku svévole (viz rozsudek ESLP ze dne 21. 10. 2013, Del Río Prada proti Španělsku, stížnost č. 42750/09, odst. 125).

 
Language: 
Czech
Deciding body (original language): 
Nejvyšší správní soud
Language: 
Czech