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Published on July 6th, 2018 | by Georgia Archonti

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ECtHR – Arachchige and others v. Cyprus [violation of Article 5(4) ECHR], 19 June 2018

On 19 June 2018, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in case Arachchige and others v. Cyprus (applications nos. 16870/11, 16874/11 and 16879/11), which concerned three Sri Lankan nationals who were deported from Cyprus in January 2011 after being detained for taking part in clashes with a group of other Sri Lankans. They denied taking part in the disturbance. They were held in detention for five to seven days before being deported.

First, the ECtHR noted that Cypriot law allows for the possibility of detention with a view to deportation on the grounds of public order and unlawful stay, as was the case of the applicants. Based on the facts of this case, the ECtHR ruled that the applicants’ detention had a legal basis in domestic law and was ordered in accordance with that procedure. There was no indication of a lack of diligence from the part of the national authorities or concerns regarding the detention conditions. Therefore, the ECtHR found that there has been no violation of Article 5(1) ECHR.

Second, the Cypriot government accepted that, in the light of the ECtHR’s judgment in M.A. v. Cyprus, recourse proceedings under Article 146 of the Cypriot Constitution were ineffective for the purposes of Article 5(4) ECHR, as they did not comply with the requirement of “speediness”.

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