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*Law of Aliens

Published on September 9th, 2018 | by Georgia Archonti

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Spanish Supreme Court condemns State for not fulfilling its relocation obligations

On 9 July 2018, the Administrative Chamber of the Spanish Supreme Court condemned the Spanish State for partially failing to meet its obligation under the Council Relocation Decisions 2015/1523 and 2015/1601. The action was brought by the association Stop Mare Mortum.

First, the Supreme Court disagreed with the arguments put forward by the State’s Attorney who argued that the European Commission had the sole responsibility for supervising the compliance of EU law and therefore the national courts lacked competence in this regard. Observing that the relocation decisions have direct effect, national courts must be able to monitor compliance with them on the basis of actions brought by persons or entities concerned, a possibility which does not conflict with the Commission’s prerogatives to consider and initiate, if it so wishes, infringement proceedings against the Member State concerned. In this case, the Supreme Court notes that the Commission has not taken any initiative against Spain with regard to the relocation decisions, giving space for the Supreme Court to examine and rule on the compliance of the decisions. Even if the Commission had initiated infringement procedures, the Supreme Court argues that it could receive actions on the failure of the State to comply with the decisions, but in that case would have to halt the proceedings until a CJEU decision on the matter. The Supreme Court did not follow the State Attorney’s request to submit preliminary questions to the CJEU on this matter.

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