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*Law of Aliens

Published on May 31st, 2018 | by Georgia Archonti

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Netherlands: District Court of The Hague rules on obligation to provide reasons when Article 17 of the Dublin III Regulation is invoked

On 20 April 2018, the District Court of The Hague, seated in Den Bosch, ruled in case NL18.5178 regarding a Syrian asylum applicant whose family was granted refugee status in the Netherlands. The applicant also applied for asylum in the Netherlands on a later stage, but his asylum application was considered inadmissible as Italy was regarded as the Member State responsible for his application. The applicant challenged his transfer to Italy on the basis of Articles 9 and 17 of the Dublin III Regulation (DRIII)

First, the District Court upheld the national authorities’ view that Article 9 DRIII is not applicable in this case as the applicant does not have “family members” as defined under Article 2(g) DRIII, since he is no longer a child and he has no relation of dependency with his parents. Secondly, while Article 17 DRIII is a discretionary power of the decision-making authority, the District Court found that courts can rule on whether sufficient reasons were given by the State Secretary not to apply Article 17 DRIII when that clause is invoked by an applicant.

In this regard, the District Court ruled that it was not enough for the State Secretary to dismiss the application of Article 17 DRIII simply by affirming that the Dublin III Regulation is not an instrument for family reunification. Therefore, it granted the appeal against the Dublin transfer to Italy and sent the case back to the national authorities for a new decision, taking into account the particular individual circumstances of the family.

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