Judicial review of the detention order


Country Report: Judicial review of the detention order Last updated: 18/04/24


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Detained asylum seekers are treated in the same manner as the rest of the detained population, hence they are informed orally by the detention staff of the reasons of their detention and the possibility to challenge it in court, but not about the possibility and the methods of applying for legal aid. However, asylum seekers are generally not informed in a language they understand as none of the existing detention centres has interpreters among its staff. A copy of the detention order is usually provided to the individual.

Detention is also not subject to a prompt judicial review of the initial decision to detain and to a regular review thereafter. The law no longer provides for automatic judicial review of detention orders, following the abolition of judicial review upon prolongation of detention.[1] This reform took place against the backdrop of the impossibility to access legal aid for detainees wishing to challenge detention orders.

As a result, judicial review may only be triggered at the initiative of the applicant. Detention orders can be appealed within 14 calendar days of the actual detention before the Administrative Court in the area of the headquarters of the authority which has issued the contested administrative act.[2] The appeal does not suspend the execution of the detention order.[3] The submission of the appeal is additionally hindered by the fact that the detention orders are not interpreted. The short deadline for lodging an appeal has proved to be highly disproportionate and usually not complied with by detained individuals, including asylum seekers.[4]




[1] Article 46a(3)-(4) LARB, repealed by Law amending the LARB, State Gazette No 97, 5 December 2017. 

[2] Article 46 LARB.

[3] Article 46a LARB.

[4] Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, Detention Mapping report Bulgaria, October 2016, para 23.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation