Judicial review of the detention order



Croatian Law Centre

About text

Asylum seekers are informed orally by the staff of the Ministry of Interior about the reasons of their detention. In practice, the interpreter present at the delivery of the decision reads decision to them. As decisions are written in complex legal language, the majority of asylum seekers do not understand the reasons for their detention. The LITP does not provide for automatic review of the lawfulness of detention.

Applicants may lodge a complaint to the Administrative Court against a detention decision within 8 days after its delivery. The authority that has issued the decision i.e. Ministry of Interior, the police administration or the police station, shall submit the case file to the Administrative Court no later than within 8 days of the day of receipt of the decision by which the Administrative Court requests the case file. The Administrative Court shall render a decision after a personal interview within 15 days from the day of receipt of the case file.

However, there are no legal consequences for not respecting the 15-day time-limit prescribed by the relevant legislation. The complaint does not suspend the decision.

One attorney informed the Croatian Law Centre that the Administrative Court did not organise the hearing promptly in cases of detention, so a decision was issued only after 2 or even 3 months – while detention can last up to 3 months. The attorney specified that in cases represented in 2016, the fastest that Administrative Court organised a hearing was within one month period after detention was ordered, and the longest was when it was organised only 7 days before expected release from detention i.e. more than 2 and half months after detention was ordered.

Additional objection is that some of attorneys informed Croatian Law Centre, that Administrative Court in detention cases usually has confirmed Ministry’s decisions. No statistics are available from the Administrative Court of Zagreb at the time of writing.

Detention does not impair the quality and effectiveness of the asylum procedure, as it does not have an impact on the organisation of the personal interview, the availability of interpretation or the speed of the procedure.

About AIDA

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detenti