Dublin

Switzerland

Author

Swiss Refugee Council

General

Dublin statistics: 2017

Outgoing procedure

Incoming procedure

 

Requests

Transfers

 

Requests

Transfers

Total

8,370

2,297

Total

6,113

885

Italy

4,231

981

Germany

2,932

417

Germany

1,380

631

France

1,429

53

France

581

168

Greece

338

101

Source: SEM, Asylum Statistics 2017.

The Dublin III Regulation is applied directly since 1 January 2014 according to a decision of the Federal Council of 18 December 2013.

 

Application of the Dublin criteria

According to the SEM, in 2017 Switzerland made a total of 8,370 requests for take charge or take back to other Member States, compared to 15,203 in 2016. They were based on the following criteria:

Outgoing Dublin requests by criterion: 2016-2017

Dublin III Regulation criterion

2016

2017

Family provisions: Articles 8-11

95

76

Documentation and entry: Articles 12-15

6,173

2,870

Dependency and humanitarian clause: Articles 16 and 17(2)

119

50

“Take back”: Article 18(1)(b)

7,481

4,202

“Take back”: Article 18(1)(c)

37

53

“Take back”: Article 18(1)(d)

1,278

1,116

“Take back”: Article 20(5)

20

3

Total outgoing requests

15,203

8,370

Source: SEM, Statistics provided by email, 18 January 2017; 12 January 2018.

The Federal Administrative Court clarified in 2015 that the presence of a family member or sibling in a pending asylum procedure in Switzerland qualifies as “legally present” for the purposes of Article 8(1) of the Dublin III Regulation.1 It also confirmed that Article 9 and 10 of the Dublin III Regulation are directly applicable, and that there is a reduced standard of proof to establish the competence of a Member State in the Dublin procedure.2

The family criteria in particular are generally applied narrowly. The SEM’s practice regarding the effective relationship and regarding the definition of family members in the Dublin III Regulation is strict. A few recent examples can illustrate this:

Concept of “spouses”: In one case, the SEM was of the opinion that the applicant could not derive anything in its favour on the basis of the spouse living in Switzerland, since a lasting relationship was required under the notion of spouses under Article 2(g) of the Dublin Regulation. In this context, Article 8 ECHR must be observed. In order to determine the actual relationship, various factors should be taken into account in the opinion of the SEM, in particular common housing, financial interdependence, the bonding of partners and the stability and duration of the relationship. The SEM concluded that the relationship could not be seen as a lasting relationship.

The TAF disagreed and stated that:

  • Asylum seekers can refer directly to Article 9 of the Dublin Regulation;

  • Article 2(g) of the Regulation, which defines family members, does not impose any further requirements for (formal) spouses, whereas a permanent relationship is required for unmarried partners;

  • Article 9 of the Regulation requires that the family member residing in Switzerland is entitled to stay in Switzerland in his or her capacity as a beneficiary of international protection. In addition to refugee status, international protection also includes protection status due to a serious threat to life and limb resulting from arbitrary violence in the context of armed conflict. This shall also include a temporary admission due to unreasonableness, which is justified by a precarious security situation.3

Best interests of the child: According to a doctor's report and information from the centre’s management, a woman was not capable of providing adequate care such as nourishment for the children. The family (2 siblings and the father, all resident in Switzerland) have taken care of the applicant and especially the children since their first day in Switzerland. Centre management stated that the loss of the family environment could endanger the welfare of the child. Nevertheless, the Federal Administrative Court confirmed the decision of the SEM to transfer the woman and her children to Italy.4

Siblings: Five adult siblings left Syria together and entered Switzerland via Greece and Croatia. Switzerland considered itself responsible for three siblings, and initiated a Dublin procedure for one man and one woman, despite their identical starting position. The Federal Administrative Court considers equality in terms of law in the sense of Article 8 of the Federal Constitution as violated.5

 

 

The dependent persons and discretionary clauses

In addition to the cases in which Switzerland must apply the sovereignty clause because the transfer to the responsible Dublin State would violate one of its international obligations, Article 29a(3) AO1 provides the possibility to apply the sovereignty clause on humanitarian grounds. Case-law has held that the sovereignty clause is not self-executing, which means that applicants can rely on the clause only in connection with another provision of national law.6 There are no general criteria publicly available in Switzerland on when the humanitarian clause or the sovereignty clause are implemented. The SEM is very reluctant to show in a transparent manner which criteria are decisive for using the sovereignty clause. The Federal Administrative Court’s competence to examine the SEM’s decision regarding humanitarian reasons is very limited, which leads to less jurisprudence and transparency on the issue. However, the Court sent some cases back to the SEM, because it had failed to examine whether or not to apply a discretionary clause (see section on Dublin: Appeal).

The sovereignty clause is used only in exceptional cases and is usually based on Article 29a(3) AO1. According to Swiss case-law,7 the interpretation of humanitarian reasons should be similar to the interpretation of the humanitarian clause of the Dublin Regulation.8 Therefore, a sharp distinction cannot be made between the grounds mostly accepted by Swiss authorities to use the sovereignty clause and grounds mostly accepted to use the humanitarian clause. In most cases in which Switzerland decides to examine an application even if another state is responsible, the cases concern Dublin member states with problematic conditions. Another category are particularly vulnerable persons, for example families (especially single mothers with children) or persons with severe medical problems that cannot be taken charge of because of the deficiencies of the reception conditions or of the asylum system in the responsible Member State. However, the threshold is high. A high risk of detention in case of a transfer back to the responsible state has also been stated as a reason (for further information see section on Dublin: Appeal).

In 2017, the SEM applied the sovereignty clause in 845 cases. Out of these, 473 cases concerned Greece, 241 Hungary, 65 Italy and 66 other Dublin States. The specific reasons for the application of the sovereignty clause are not recorded statistically.9 There were fewer applications of the sovereignty clause than in 2016, when the clause was used in 3,331 cases. This was partly due to the fact that there were significantly fewer asylum applications in Switzerland in 2017. Furthermore, in 2016 a large part of the applications of the sovereignty clause concerned persons who travelled along the Balkan route from Greece. After the Balkan route was practically closed, fewer persons were able to travel from Greece and Hungary to Switzerland, which had consequences for the number of applications of the sovereignty clause as well.10

These numbers show that, like the family criteria, the humanitarian clause and the sovereignty clause are only rarely applied by Switzerland.11

 

Procedure

According to Swiss law, the SEM has to transmit the fingerprints of applicants to the Central Unit of the Eurodac System within the framework of the Application of the Dublin Association Agreements.12 The Federal Council has the possibility to provide exceptions to taking the fingerprints for children under the age of 14.13 In practice, all applicants over 14 years of age are systematically fingerprinted and checked in Eurodac after the registration of the application in Switzerland. This is part of all types of asylum procedures carried out in Switzerland, regardless of where an application is filed. The Dublin procedure is systematically applied in all cases where the data check or other indications suggest that another Dublin Member State is responsible for examining an asylum application.14

The Federal Administrative Court stated that if a person fails to cooperate to be fingerprinted, this is a severe violation of the duty to cooperate according to the Asylum Act. This is also the case if the asylum seeker wilfully destroys the skin of his or her fingertips. However, the SEM must clarify with an expert whether or not the manipulation of the fingertips was wilful or due to external influences.15 Article 8(3-bis) of the Asylum Act states that persons who fail to cooperate without valid reason lose their right to have the proceedings continued. Their applications are cancelled without a formal decision being taken and no new application may be filed within three years; the foregoing is subject to compliance with the Refugee Convention of 28 July 1951. So far, we have not seen any such cases in practice.

If another Dublin State is presumed responsible for processing the asylum application, the applicant concerned is granted the right to be heard.16 This can be carried out either orally or in written form,17 and provides the opportunity for the applicant to make a statement and to present reasons against a transfer to the responsible state. In practice, the right to be heard is mostly only granted once and is carried out orally. If a Eurodac hit is found or other evidence is available, the right to be heard is already granted during the first interview conducted by the SEM.

It seems problematic that the applicant is confronted with this question only at this stage of the procedure, when the responsibility has not yet been fully established. At this point in time, the presumed responsible state has not yet received the request by the Swiss authorities to take charge or take back the applicant. This means that the right to be heard is granted at a moment when consultations between Member States in the Dublin procedure have not even started yet. This deprives the applicant of procedural rights as, according to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in MM, the authorities are “to inform the applicant that they propose to reject his application and notify him of the arguments on which they intend to base their rejection, so as to enable him to make known his views in that regard.”18 The right to be heard cannot effectively be exercised as long as the intended outcome of the Dublin procedure is not clear. According to the MM standard, the applicant should be able to provide his or her views in the light of an intended concrete decision:

“The right to be heard guarantees every person the opportunity to make known his views effectively during an administrative procedure and before the adoption of any decision liable to affect his interests adversely.”19

In principle, the applicant is entitled to inspection of the files relevant for the decision-making.20 The inspection can only be refused if this would contradict essential public interest, essential private interests or interests of non-completed official investigations.21 In general, inspection of the files is not granted automatically, but only upon explicit request. However, in case of an inadmissibility decision, copies of the files are being communicated together with the decision if enforcement of the removal has been ordered.22 The files should include information about the evidence on which the request for taking back was made and the reply of the requested Member State. In case of Dublin transfer decisions (which are inadmissibility decisions), the SEM can notify the decision directly to asylum applicants even if they are represented by a legal representative. The latter must be informed immediately about the notification.23

Individualised guarantees

In a first national leading case judgment regarding the Tarakhel judgment, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court specified that the individual guarantees are a substantive precondition for the legality of the Dublin transfer decision according to international law, and not only a transfer modality, as the SEM had repeatedly claimed. Therefore, the guarantees must be provided at the moment of the Dublin transfer decision by the first instance decision, so that the applicants can make a statement regarding those guarantees in their appeal to the Federal Administrative Court. If the guarantees are only given before the actual transfer (as had been the practice up to then), this is too late as at that stage there is no longer a legal remedy.24 After this judgment, there have been several cases which the Court sent the matter back to the first instance authority because of insufficient guarantees.25 However, in one case the Court stated that the Italian authorities had provided a sufficient guarantee by providing a list of SPRAR projects in Italy in which a number of places have been reserved for families returned under Dublin, as well as by accepting that the applicants in the concrete case constituted a family, mentioning the ages of all family members.26 In December 2015, the Court found that the list of SPRAR projects was six months old and therefore outdated.27 In April 2016, referring to the updated list of February 2016, the Court again stated that the list represented a sufficient guarantee, if the Italian authorities acknowledged that it was a family in the individual case, mentioning the names and dates of birth of all family members.28 In November 2016, the Court found that the list was no longer sufficient as a guarantee, as it was outdated (nine months old).29 Since the Italian authorities provide an updated list of SPRAR places for families on a regular basis, this issue was not that relevant anymore in 2017.

In cases of pregnant women, the Court states that no Tarakhel guarantees must be obtained.30 It also pointed out that the unborn child cannot rely on the Convention on the Rights of the Child.31 Tarakhel is only applied in the case of families in the Dublin procedure, not for other categories of persons.32 There have been only two exceptions: In two exceptional cases the Court asked for individual guarantees regarding reception conditions and access to medical treatment regarding mentally ill persons (not families) and regarding Hungary and Slovenia (not Italy).33 Therefore in some special cases it is possible that Switzerland requests a Member State for detailed information about a possible medical treatment or an ongoing treatment, especially for persons who are suffering from tuberculosis. However, these are not deemed as guarantees with the meaning of the Tarakhel judgment.34

From the moment of the Tarakhel judgment until the beginning of September 2015, 5 families were transferred from Switzerland to Italy under the Dublin procedure. The families are not granted the right to be heard regarding the guarantees before the first instance decision.35 So the only moment they can make a statement regarding the guarantees is in the appeal. While 41 families and single parents with children (117 persons in total) were transferred to Italy under Dublin in 2016,36 the number was 36 families and single-parent families (93 persons) in 2017.37

So far it is not transparent how the individual guarantees for families will actually be implemented after transfer. In order to document the proceedings in individual cases, in 2016 the Swiss Refugee Council and the Danish Refugee Council started a joint monitoring project, to follow up on what happens to individual families and vulnerable persons after they have been transferred to Italy.

The report covering the first phase of the project shows that the monitored families were treated very differently upon arrival in Italy. In some cases, the persons could only be accommodated after a certain period of time and with the intervention of third parties. There seemed to be arbitrary or at least unpredictable practice as to which kind of assistance the returned families would get from the Italian authorities. Furthermore, the quality of the accommodation provided varies considerably. The cases show that the relevant regional authorities and/or responsible persons of the reception facility were not always informed in advance of the medical condition and special needs of the applicants. Therefore it cannot be guaranteed whether families returned to Italy will be accommodated in line with the preconditions set out in Tarakhel.38

The project will continue at least until the end of 2018 and has been extended to cover all persons returned to Italy under the Dublin Regulation.

Transfers

According to the SEM, in 2017 it took on average 239.8 days between the Dublin inadmissibility decision and the transfer. From the positive answer of the responsible Member State to the Dublin inadmissibility decision, it takes another 8.3 days.39 One reason for this long duration could be the prolongation of the transfer deadline in case of an appeal which is granted suspensive effect. The transfer will then be further delayed if the Federal Administrative Court sends the case back to the SEM for additional clarifications and a new decision, which in turn can be appealed again.

The ratio of Dublin transfers carried out compared to outgoing requests has slightly improved in 2017 and reached 27.4% (2,297 transfers and 8,370 requests) compared to 24.6% in 2016 (3,750 transfers and 15,203 requests).40 However, it still indicates that only a bit more than one quarter of requests made by Switzerland result in actual transfers.

According to the Foreign Nationals Act, an applicant can already be detained during the preparation of the decision on residence status. Applicants within a Dublin procedure can be detained for specific grounds. The Federal Administrative Court as well as the Federal Court have defined some important ground rules for detention in Dublin cases (see section on Grounds for Detention: Dublin Procedure). The use of detention differs between cantons.  

As the Dublin III Regulation is directly applied in Switzerland, voluntary transfers should in principle be possible.41 Nevertheless, in practice, voluntary transfers are tested only within the accelerated procedure in the test centre in Zurich. In 2016, there were 33 voluntary transfers to Dublin member states, and in 2017, a total of 17.42 Since the leading decision of the Federal Administrative Court of 2 February 2010, the transfer can no longer be enforced immediately after the notification of the decision, even if appeals against Dublin transfer decisions have no suspensive effect. A time limit of 5 days must be granted, allowing the applicant concerned to leave Switzerland or to make an appeal and to ask for suspensive effect.43 This case-law has since been codified in the Asylum Act.44 In a decision to strike out the application from the list of cases, the ECtHR considered the access to an effective remedy in Dublin cases in Switzerland sufficient.45 This statement is problematic because the ECtHR bases it on a false interpretation of Swiss law: it cites the provision in the Asylum Act that relates to non-Dublin-cases, in which the asylum seeker can stay on Swiss territory until the end of the proceedings. On the contrary, in Dublin cases this is precisely not the case, as there is no automatic suspensive effect.

 

Personal interview

The SEM carries out the whole first instance procedure and is also responsible for conducting the interviews with the applicants during the asylum procedure, including the Dublin procedure.

During the preparatory phase, the applicant has a short preliminary interview mainly on the identity, the journey to Switzerland and summarily the reasons for seeking asylum. If the SEM intends to take a Dublin transfer decision (inadmissibility decision), the applicant is granted the right to be heard at the end of the personal interview,46 but he or she does not undergo a second interview regarding the grounds for asylum. The omission of the second interview in cases of Dublin and other inadmissibility decisions constitutes the fundamental difference between the personal interview within the Dublin procedure and the personal interviews within the regular asylum procedure where the application is examined in substance (see section on Regular Procedure: Personal Interview).

 

Appeal

In case of a Dublin transfer decision (inadmissibility decision), an appeal can be submitted – as in all the other cases – to the Federal Administrative Court (TAF). The time limit to lodge an appeal against a Dublin transfer decision is 5 working days.47

Contrary to other asylum appeals, appeals against Dublin transfer decisions (inadmissibility decisions) do not have automatic suspensive effect. However, as mentioned in Dublin: Procedure, transfers cannot be enforced immediately after the notification of the decision. A time limit of 5 working days must be granted.48 This allows the concerned applicant to make an appeal and to ask for suspensive effect. The Court has to decide on the suspensive effect within another 5 working days.49

In the appeal procedure (applies also to the Dublin procedure), the TAF has the possibility to order a hearing if the facts are not elucidated in a sufficient manner.50 In practice, it has hardly ever made use of this possibility.

To a certain extent, the Court takes into account the reception conditions and the procedural guarantees in the responsible Member States. This is reflected in different leading case decisions as well as other decisions of the Court, notably concerning Dublin Member States such as Greece, Hungary, Italy or Bulgaria (see Dublin: Suspension of Transfers).

However, the Court can only examine errors of law, not whether or not the decision of the first instance authority was “appropriate” (see section on Regular Procedure: Appeal). This limitation is very relevant in the Dublin procedure. Many Dublin cases do not fall under the compulsory criteria of the Dublin III Regulation or under Articles 3 or 8 ECHR. Therefore, especially in cases regarding family ties which fall outside those strict definitions, the notion of humanitarian reasons for which Switzerland can apply the sovereignty clause becomes crucial.

The Court stated that whether or not there are humanitarian reasons for applying the sovereignty clause is a question of “appropriateness”, where the SEM has a margin of appreciation. As long as it decides within this margin, the Court cannot examine whether or not the decision was appropriate. For example, in one case an Afghan mother and her minor son travelled to Switzerland via Bulgaria. The older son/brother lives in Switzerland with subsidiary protection. Because he is already an adult, the SEM decided to send the mother and younger brother back to Bulgaria, despite the fact that the applicants claimed that the boy needed the support of his older brother. The Court confirmed this decision: it admitted that the criteria according to which the SEM had examined the humanitarian reasons were strict, however, they were objective and clear. Therefore, the Court could not examine the decision by the SEM.51

Nevertheless, the Federal Administrative Court confirmed in a leading case decision of 21 December 2017 that the asylum seeker can rely on the correct application of the Dublin responsibility criteria, in line with the CJEU jurisprudence in Ghezelbash and Mengesteab.52

 

Legal assistance

The right to free administration of justice is enshrined in the Federal Constitution and the Asylum Act.53 Nevertheless, restrictive practices regarding free legal advice have been observed in Switzerland in the past, during the first instance procedure as well as during the appeal procedure. Therefore, in the Dublin procedure just as in the regular procedure, legal assistance is in most cases provided by independent legal advisory offices that are part of NGOs. The test phase constitutes an exception to this, as state-funded free legal assistance is guaranteed to all applicants whose procedures are carried out in the test centre in the trial taking place in Zurich (see section on Accelerated Procedure: Legal Assistance).

The relatively short time limit of 5 working days for lodging an appeal against a Dublin transfer decision constitutes another obstacle to the access to legal assistance. This seems especially problematic with regard to the remote federal accommodation centres (“Aussenstellen”).54 These accommodation facilities are usually located in remote zones – and therefore far away from independent legal advisory offices that are usually situated in urban areas – and they are used in most cases to accommodate applicants in a Dublin procedure.55

Furthermore, access to legal assistance can be difficult for persons in detention, as their means to contact and find a legal representative within the short time limits for appeal (especially in case of inadmissibility decisions) are limited.

 

Suspension of transfers

In general, if transfers to other Dublin Member States are suspended, the sovereignty or the humanitarian clause is applied. The asylum application of the person concerned is then examined in Switzerland.

Greece: Switzerland has suspended transfers to a certain number of Dublin states on a case-by-case basis or following a Court ruling. Up to now, no transfers to any Dublin state have been suspended systematically. According to the SEM,56 its practice regarding transfers to Greece has been influenced by the judgments of the ECtHR in MSS v Belgium and Greece and the CJEU in NS v Secretary of State for the Home Department, as well as two ensuing leading case decisions of the Federal Administrative Court of 16 August 201157 and of 17 October 2011.58 According to this jurisprudence, the general presumption that Greece respects its duties under international law can no longer be maintained. However, as an exception, a transfer can be considered reasonable if it is to be assumed that the applicant does not run a concrete and high risk of treatment prohibited under international law (no risk of detention or refoulement, usually because the applicant has a residence permit in Greece).59 In 2014, the Court confirmed that this practice is still valid.60 In November 2017, the SEM announced a reinstatement of Dublin procedures for cases in which the person was in possession of a Greek visa. This does not apply to vulnerable persons.61 This means that in most of the cases Switzerland still relinquishes transfers to Greece and applies the sovereignty clause.

On the other hand, if the person already has a protection status in Greece (and therefore does not fall under Dublin, but under the safe third country clause), the Swiss authorities are generally of the opinion that the person can be transferred there. This has been the case even with vulnerable persons: For example, the Federal Administrative Court even confirmed the transfer of a psychologically fragile mother with four daughters who fled Greece because of the violent husband/father, the eldest daughter being suicidal.62 Only in few cases, the Court asked the SEM to further clarify the situation of the individual applicant after return to Greece, in order to examine whether or not the transfer decision could be upheld.63 According to SEM statistics, 1 person was transferred to Greece under Dublin and 24 persons were transferred under the readmission agreement in 2017. In 2016, 17 persons were transferred to Greece under the readmission agreement.64

Hungary: Regarding Dublin transfers to Hungary, the Federal Administrative Court took an internal decision in February 2016 to suspend all transfers until a new leading case judgement will be issued.65 However, the SEM has not interpreted this as an instruction to suspend transfers to Hungary at the first instance level as well. This means that the SEM still issued Dublin transfer decisions, and if the person did not manage to file an appeal to the Court in time, it was possible that they were transferred to Hungary. On the other hand, if the person filed an appeal, the transfer was suspended. The Swiss Refugee Council has criticised this situation, as it lead to unequal treatment and arbitrary situations.

In May 2017 the TAF issued a reference judgment in which it summarised the latest developments in the Hungarian asylum system and the effects on Dublin returnees.66 The Court highlighted the responsibility of the SEM to gather all elements necessary for the assessment and that it was not the responsibility of the appeal authority to carry out complex supplementary investigations. Otherwise, the Federal Administrative Court would overstep its jurisdiction with a decision on the merits of the matter and deprive the party concerned of the legal right of appeal. Therefore, the Court annulled the contested decision and referred it back to the SEM for a full determination of the facts and a new decision. In March 2017, 199 appeals regarding a Dublin transfer to Hungary were pending at the TAF, and it is very likely that all of them were referred back to the SEM for further examination. Many of the cases concern persons who are waiting for about two years only for the examination of responsibility under Dublin, which is not in line with the objective of rapid determination of the Member State responsible under the Dublin III Regulation.

According to SEM statistics, 12 persons were transferred to Hungary under Dublin in 2017, while 65 persons were transferred in 2016.67

Italy: Overall in many cases the Swiss practice regarding Italy is still strict and the judges still state that there are no systemic deficiencies. The sovereignty clause is only applied in cases of very vulnerable persons, or in case of a combination of different special circumstances.

In the recent past, Switzerland has still carried out transfers of vulnerable persons, especially families, to Dublin Member States with insufficient reception conditions, e.g. to Italy. Regarding the necessary guarantees for families before Dublin transfers to Italy according to Tarakhel, see Dublin: Procedure.

Croatia: With the developments along the Balkan Route, the Dublin cases with Croatia have increased. The Federal Administrative Court confirms most transfers, as it is of the opinion that asylum seekers have access to sufficient reception conditions and medical treatment in Croatia.68 A total 15 persons were returned to Croatia in 2017, while 89 persons were returned in 2016.69

Bulgaria: Transfers are generally carried out, even in the case of families and vulnerable persons.70 In a decision from September 2017,71 the Court implied doubts about the rejection of the applicant’s claim in Bulgaria. An earlier asylum application was rejected by Germany, the applicant was deported to Morocco in 2013 and tortured there for three and a half months. Neither the SEM nor the Court have received the decision to reject the application from the Bulgarian authorities. The court stated:

“It is therefore not possible to ascertain whether and to what extent the Bulgarian authorities have examined the complainant's allegations of torture, which are an important indication of a concrete and serious danger of renewed torture, and to what extent they have reached this conclusion. The contrary assertion of the lower instance must be qualified as a mere guesswork prior to this situation. The Federal Administrative Court considers the complainant's allegations that he has been tortured in his home country to be credible in the current file situation and regards it as an important indication that he is likely to face the concrete and serious danger of renewed torture on his return to Morocco. It cannot therefore be ruled out that, in the case of a transfer of the complainant to Bulgaria, Switzerland may be in danger of breaching the principle of non-refoulement, which is why it is advisable that Switzerland starts the national asylum procedure. A transfer to Bulgaria is not permitted.”72

 

The situation of Dublin returnees

No obstacles for applicants transferred back to Switzerland under Dublin have been observed.

  • 1. Federal Administrative Court, Decision D-5785/2015, 10 March 2016.
  • 2. Federal Administrative Court, Decision E-6513/2014, 3 December 2015.
  • 3. Federal Administrative Court, Decision BVGE 2017/IV/1, 10 February 2017.
  • 4. Federal Administrative Court, Decision F-905/2017, 12 July 2017.
  • 5. Federal Administrative Court, Decision E-2246/2016, 4 October 2017.
  • 6. Federal Administrative Court, Decision E-5644/2009, 31 August 2010.
  • 7. Federal Administrative Court, Decision E-7221/2009, 10 May 2011.
  • 8. Articles 16 and 17(2) Dublin III Regulation.
  • 9. SEM, Statistics provided by email, 12 January 2018.
  • 10. SEM, Information provided by email, 23 January 2018. For more information concerning the application of the sovereignty clause by the Swiss authorities since 2014, see: Swiss Refugee Council, ‘Le mythe de la générosité dans l’application du règlement Dublin’, 21 December 2017, available in French at: http://bit.ly/2kX8rwm. See also the reply of the Federal Council of 1 February 2017 to a parliamentary question 16.4111 of 16 December 2016, available in German at: http://bit.ly/2kC9e76.
  • 11. In November 2017, the Swiss Refugee Council and a broad coalition of NGOs submitted to the Federal Council the “Dublin call” (Appel de Dublin). This call urges the authorities to handle the asylum applications lodged by vulnerable persons. For further information, see the website of the coalition available in French at: http://bit.ly/2pFSRKW.
  • 12. Article 102a-bis AsylA.
  • 13. Article 99 AsylA.
  • 14. Articles 20, 22 and 26 AsylA; Article 16 Test Phases Ordinance.
  • 15. Federal Administrative Court, Decision BVGE 2011/27, 30 September 2011.
  • 16. Article 36(1) AsylA.
  • 17. Article 29(2) Constitution.
  • 18. CJEU, Case C-277/11 MM, Judgment of 22 November 2012, para 95.
  • 19. Ibid, para 87.
  • 20. Article 26 APA.
  • 21. Article 27 APA.
  • 22. Article 17(5) AsylA.
  • 23. Article 13 AsylA.
  • 24. Federal Administrative Court, Decision BVGE 2015/4, E-6629/2014, 12 March 2015.
  • 25. For example, Federal Administrative Court, Decision E-936/2015, 21 April 2015 regarding a Nigerian woman who claimed to have been forced into prostitution in Italy, and who had asked for asylum in Switzerland with her two children; Decision E-3564/2014, 16 March 2015 regarding a single mother with her child.
  • 26. Federal Administrative Court, Decision D-4394/2015, 27 July 2015.
  • 27. Federal Administrative Court, Decision E-6261/2015, 9 December 2015.
  • 28. Federal Administrative Court, Decision D-6358/2015, 7 April 2016.
  • 29. Federal Administrative Court, Decision E-4969/2016, 21 November 2016.
  • 30. Federal Administrative Court, Decisions E-406/2015, 2 April 2015 and D-4978/2016, 6 September 2016.
  • 31. Federal Administrative Court, Decision E-406/2015, 2 April 2015.
  • 32. Recently confirmed by the Federal Administrative Court, leading case Decision D-2177/2015, 11 December 2017: Sri Lankan applicant with medical problems. However, in the individual case the Court ordered that the sovereignty clause must be applied due to the length of the procedure.
  • 33. Federal Administrative Court, Decision D-2677/2015, 25 August 2015 regarding Slovenia and a mentally ill person who needs special trauma treatment. Tarakhel was not directly mentioned in the decision, but the Court states the need for guarantees. Regarding Hungary and a traumatised man: Federal Administrative Court, Decision D-6089/2014, 10 November 2014.
  • 34. SEM, Information provided by email, 3 August 2017.
  • 35. SEM, Dublin Office, Email of 9 September 2015.
  • 36. SEM, Information provided by email, 20 January 2017.
  • 37. SEM, Information provided by email, 18 January 2018.
  • 38. Danish Refugee Council and Swiss Refugee Council, Is mutual trust enough? The situation of persons with special reception needs upon return to Italy, 9 February 2017, available at: http://bit.ly/2l2Wd7m.
  • 39. SEM, Information provided by email, 12 January 2018.
  • 40. SEM, Asylum Statistics 2017; Asylum Statistics 2016.
  • 41. Article 29 Dublin III Regulation.
  • 42. SEM, Information provided by email, 12 January 2018.
  • 43. Federal Administrative Court, Decision BVGE 2010/1 (E-5841/2009), 2 February 2010.
  • 44. Article 107a AsylA.
  • 45. ECtHR, M.G. and E.T. v. Switzerland, Application No 26456/14, Decision of 17 November 2016.
  • 46. Article 36 AsylA.
  • 47. Article 108(2) AsylA.
  • 48. Article 107a(2) AsylA; Federal Administrative Court, Decision E-5841/2009, 2 February 2010.
  • 49. Article 107a AsylA.
  • 50. Article 14 APA.
  • 51. Federal Administrative Court, Decision D-3794/2014, 17 April 2015.
  • 52. Federal Administrative Court, Decision E-1998/2016, 21 December 2017.
  • 53. Articles 8(1) and 29(1) Constitution; Article 110a AsylA.
  • 54. Article 26(3) AsylA, Ordinance of the DFJP on the management of federal reception centres in the field of asylum.
  • 55. Swiss Refugee Council, ‘Etat des lieux du centre fédéral de Bremgarten «Obere Allmend»’, 2014, 8.
  • 56. SEM, Manuel Asile et retour, Procédure Dublin (Manual asylum and return, Dublin procedure), 14.
  • 57. Federal Administrative Court, Decision D-2076/2010, 16 August 2011.
  • 58. Federal Administrative Court, Decision E-5604/2011, 17 October 2011.
  • 59. Federal Administrative Court, Decision D-2076/2010, 16 August 2011 and E-5604/2011, 17 October 2011.
  • 60. Federal Administrative Court, Decision E-6955/2013, 27 January 2014.
  • 61. SEM, Information provided by email, 6 November 2017.
  • 62. Federal Administrative Court, Decision D-206/2016, 10 February 2016.
  • 63. Federal Administrative Court, Decisions E-6347/2014, 20 November 2014 and E-1192/2014, 17 March 2014.
  • 64. SEM, Asylum Statistics 2017; Asylum Statistics 2016.
  • 65. See Neue Zürcher Zeitung, ‚Marschhalt bei Dublin-Fällen‘, 26 February 2016, available in German at: http://bit.ly/21mLQpE.
  • 66. Federal Administrative Court, Decision D-7853/2015, 31 May 2017.
  • 67. SEM, Asylum Statistics 2017; Asylum Statistics 2016.
  • 68. Federal Administrative Court, Decision D-1611/2016, 22 March 2016.
  • 69. SEM, Asylum Statistics 2017; Asylum Statistics 2016.
  • 70. For example in the case of a man who claimed to have been detained and mistreated in Bulgaria, with diabetes and psychological problems: Federal Administrative Court, Decision E-521/2016, 13 June 2016.
  • 71. Federal Administrative Court, Decision E-305/2017, 5 September 2017.
  • 72. Ibid, para E.2.

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