Legal assistance for review of detention


Country Report: Legal assistance for review of detention Last updated: 26/06/23


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In detention cases, applicants are entitled to free legal aid similarly to their right to legal aid in the international protection procedure (see Legal assistance). In practice when a decision is delivered to detained applicants they are also given the list of providers of free legal aid from which they can choose an attorney or lawyer from NGO, who are then notified by the Ministry of Interior. Attorneys and lawyers from NGO organise the interpreter for the appointment and then inform the Ministry of Interior. According to national legislation the measure of accommodation at the reception centre for foreigners (i.e. detention) may be imposed if, following an individual assessment, it is established that other alternative measures would not achieve the purpose of restriction of freedom of movement. However, in previous years legal representatives reported that decisions on the restriction of freedom of movement do not always contain a reasoning behind the individual assessment. They simply state that the individual assessment has determined that detention is necessary because other measures cannot achieve the purpose of restricting freedom of movement.[1] One attorney reported that detention decisions are often brought in standard form that all look alike, and that the Administrative Court usually confirms them.[2]

In the past lawyers and legal representatives could easily contact and meet with their clients. However in 2018 and 2019, they faced difficulties in accessing the Reception Centre for Foreigners in Ježevo as well as the Transit Reception Centres. The Centre for Peace Studies in Croatia reported that lawyers providing support to applicants for international protection in the Ježevo Reception Centre for Foreigners could not hold confidential conversations with their clients, as a police officer is always in the room.[3] No such difficulties were reported in 2020 and 2021. However, according to the Ombudswoman, in 2022 difficult access of legal aid providers was observed in all three centres.[4]




[1] Information provided by attorneys at law, 3 December 2019, 6 December 2019.16 December 2019, 21 January 2020.

[2] Information provided by attorney at law, 27 December 2021.

[3] FRA, Migration flows: Key fundamental rights concerns – Q2, 2019, available at:

[4] Report of the Ombudswoman for 2022, available in Croatian at:

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 I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation