Legal assistance for review of detention


Country Report: Legal assistance for review of detention Last updated: 30/11/20


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During detention in public custody centres, asylum seekers have all the rights set out in the Asylum Act, except for those concerning the right to access employment, right to accommodation in the Regional Centres and reimbursement for travel costs.[1] As a consequence, detained asylum seekers have the same rights to legal assistance as those at liberty.


Legal assistance for asylum seekers in detention is provided by CNRR through the project “Specialized legal assistance for asylum seekers in Romania”, funded by the AMIF national programme. In Arad, legal counselling is ensured by the legal counsellor of Timișoara.


According to the director of Arad, IGI informs CNRR Bucharest when an asylum application is made. It was also reported by the director that CNRR legal counsellor did not attend any of the interviews held in detention. The appeals in case of asylum applications rejected by IGI-DAI are lodged by CNRR.


In most of the cases, the legal counsellor provides legal counselling based on contact and information provided by the legal department of IGI-DAI, when the decision was already communicated to them. According to CNRR, in general, the legal counselling is provided after the decision is communicated if there is a decision to reject the asylum application in an accelerated procedure.[2]


When asked if the asylum seekers accommodated in the detention centres benefit from legal counselling before the personal interview, CNRR reported that it depends on when they learn about the asylum applications and the promptness of IGI-DAI in conducting the interview.[3]


In Otopeni, according to the JRS representative, legal counselling on the asylum procedure is provided to the detainees before and during the asylum procedure by CNRR for first-time asylum applications and JRS for subsequent asylum applications.


It is more difficult or even impossible for asylum seekers to contact the legal counsellors or attorneys in due time in order to prepare and/or assist them for the personal interview. They are made aware of their rights and obligation as asylum seekers only at the interview conducted by the IGI-DAI case officer. There is no legal counsellor providing legal counselling to asylum seekers in detention who works in the centre on a daily basis. Lawyers cannot contact their clients by phone, as the detainees are not allowed to have personal phones in detention and may only use their phone upon request if it has no camera. Lawyers may only access them if they visit them or if the clients have free minutes left to talk on the phone. Meetings are held in private rooms.


[1]          Article 19^16(2) Asylum Act.

[2]          Information provided by CNRR, 9 December 2019.

[3]          Information provided by CNRR, 9 December 2019.


Table of contents

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