European Union

Court of Justice: Case C-155/15 Karim, Reference for a preliminary ruling, 20 March 2015

The applicant, George Malki Karim, is Syrian. He submitted in March 2014 an application for international protection in Sweden. The inspection revealed that the applicant had made a request in Slovenia in May 2013. The Swedish Migration Agency therefore called Slovenia to take back and examine the request of the applicant in accordance with Regulation 604/2013(Dublin III Regulation). However, the applicant informed the Migration Agency that he had stayed for more than three months outside the EU in the meantime. His passport contained one entry stamp from Lebanon on 20 July 2013. Slovenia still agreed to take back the applicant, so his application in Sweden was rejected. The applicant lodged an appeal with the Migration Court in Stockholm, which rejected his appeal for the reasons stated in the case C-394/12 Abdullahi: the court noted that the procedure was correct, that the applicant’s stay outside the EU in this case was irrelevant, and that there are no other reasons for the criteria of the Dublin III Regulation not to apply.

The applicant lodged an appeal before the referring court, the Migration Court of Appeal at the Administrative Court of Appeal in Stockholm. He maintained his position that Dublin III does not apply because he left the territory of the EU for more than three months. He also appealed on humanitarian grounds, because of the deficiencies in the asylum procedure in Slovenia. The Swedish Migration Agency disputed the applicant’s view on the implementation of the Regulation and pointed out that the procedure is primarily a matter between the EU Member States.

The Administrative Court of Appeal of Stockholm submitted the following questions to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling:

(1) Are the new provisions on effective remedies of Regulation No 604/2013, Recital 19 and Article 27(1) and (5), interpreted as meaning that an applicant must have the opportunity to challenge the criteria of Chapter III of the Regulation under which he or she may be transferred to another Member State which has agreed to receive him or her, or is an effective remedy limited in the sense that it applies only to the right to an assessment of whether there are systemic deficiencies in the asylum procedure and reception conditions in the Member State in which the applicant will be transferred (by analogy with the judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-394/12)?

(2) If the Court considers that it should be possible to have an effective remedy against the criteria of Chapter III of the Regulation, is Article 19(2) of Regulation No 604/2013 interpreted as meaning that the Regulation should not apply if the applicant demonstrates that he or she has been living for at least three months beyond the territory of the Member States?

The original Swedish text can be found on the EDAL website here.

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