It is intended for legal practitioners, judges, prosecutors, immigration officials and non-governmental organisations, in the EU and Council of Europe Member States.
Since 2011, the European Union (EU) Agency for Fundamental Rights, the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights, have published handbooks on various fields of European law. This handbook provides an overview of the European legal standards relevant to asylum, borders and immigration, explaining both applicable Council of Europe and EU measures.
The handbook is intended for lawyers, judges, prosecutors, border guards, immigration officials and others working with national authorities, as well as national human rights institutions, non-governmental organisations and other bodies that may be confronted with legal questions in the areas covered.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU became legally binding when the Lisbon Treaty entered into force in December 2009. It has the same legal value as the founding EU Treaties. The Lisbon Treaty also provides for EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights, which is legally binding on all Member States of the EU and the Council of Europe.
Since we published the second edition of this handbook in 2014, there have been significant developments in European law relating to asylum, borders and immigration. For example, a number of adopted EU instruments upgrade or establish new large-scale EU information technology systems to manage migration. There have also been smaller legislative changes – for instance, in the Schengen acquis on borders, irregular migration and visas.
Similarly, the Court of Justice of the EU has clarified several legal questions emerging from the implementation of EU migration and asylum law in its ever-expanding case law. The European Court of Human Rights has also delivered a number of important judgments, notably in the area of reception conditions of asylum seekers. In light of such changes, the handbook required an update to ensure that its legal guidance remains accurate.