Use of medical reports


Country Report: Use of medical reports Last updated: 15/05/23


Nikola Kovačević

Medical or psychological reports may be used in order to substantiate asylum claims; as is prescribed by the General Administrative Procedure Act.[1] The number of decisions in which Asylum Office outlines in the reasoning of its decisions medical and psychological reports has increased. In the vast majority of cases, the legal representatives are the one who are hiring forensic, psychiatric or psychological experts in order to support their client’s claims. Still, in 2022 the Asylum Office did not submit any request to PIN or IAN, but there were dozens of cases in which lawyers provided such reports.

The Asylum Office has continued to render decisions in which medical and/or psychological reports were used with an aim to assess the vulnerability of the applicant but also the credibility of their statement. On the other hand, there were several cases in which the Asylum Office, but also the second and the third instance authorities failed to take into consideration the medical or psychological state of the applicant.

The first time the Asylum Office took into consideration a medical report was in December 2016 in the case of an Iraqi applicant who was granted subsidiary protection. The report that was examined was issued by the psychiatrist at one of the Belgrade clinics. However, it was the legal representative who provided the Asylum Office with the report.[2]

The second time the Asylum Office directly took into consideration the state of health of the applicants was in December 2017, when one Nigerian[3] and one Bangladeshi[4] nationals were granted subsidiary protection due to paraplegia and quadriplegia respectively. In both of the said decisions the Asylum Office took into consideration the ECtHR principles established in D. v. United Kingdom which were invoked by their legal representative. The medical state of the applicant played an important role in the case of Libyan family A.[5]

Also, in December 2018, the Asylum Office explicitly cited Article 17 of the Asylum Act and took in consideration that unaccompanied girl from Nigeria was recognised as a victim of human trafficking.[6] The same was done in the decision 26-1719/18 from 11 December 2019, when an asylum seeker from Iraq was granted subsidiary protection. In 2019, a psychological report was taken in consideration in several more decisions,[7] as well as the BID,[8] while the report of the psychiatrist was taken in consideration in the case of Uyghur applicant from China who is a torture victim.[9] This practice continued in 2021 and in cases of Afghan[10] and Pakistani[11] UASC, Iranian torture victim[12] and two torture victims from Burundi.[13] An Afghan applicant received subsidiary protection due to inability to receive medical treatment in his country of origin. Pakistani boy was psychologically assessed and CHTV decision granting him the status of the victim of human trafficking was also taken in consideration. The Asylum Office closely examined forensic medical reports from two Burundian applicants, as well as a psychological report lodged by torture victim from Iran.

In 2022, the Asylum Office took in consideration Istanbul Protocol report drafted in relation to an SGBV survivor from Burundi,[14] as well as SGBV survivor from Afghanistan.[15] Both of these cases also contained SGBV reports from DRC and psychological reports from PIN or IAN. All reports were provided by legal representatives. Also, every UASC’s legal representative lodged BID. Medical report was also used in the case of Cuban applicant[16] and the Asylum Office made a reference to relevant ECtHR jurisprudence which is related to the risks of inhumane and degrading treatment due to the lack of adequate health care.[17]




[1] Article 128 GAPA. It should be borne in mind that, should the authorities doubt the veracity of such documents, expert witnesses may be summoned in order to examine said veracity.

[2] ECtHR, D. v. UK, Application No 30240/96, Judgment of 2 May 1997, EDAL, available at:

[3] Asylum Office, Decision No. 26-4370/15, 27 December 2017.

[4] Asylum Office, Decision No. 26-5044/15, 25 December 2017.

[5] Asylum Office, Decision No. 26-222/15, 3 July 2018.

[6] Asylum Office, Decision No. 26-329/18, 28 December 2019.

[7] Asylum Office, Decisions Nos. 26-2348/17, 28 January 2019; 26-2643/17, 30 January 2019; 26-1605/18, 15 March 2019.

[8] Asylum Office, Decision Nos. 26-2348/17, 28 January 2019 and 26-784/18, 20 November 2019.

[9] Asylum Office, Decision No. 26-2050/17, 12 September 2019.

[10] Asylum Office, Decision No. 26-1084/20, 7 June 2021

[11] Asylum Office, Decision No. 26–3064/19, 14 September 2019.

[12] Asylum Office, Decision No. 26-108/20, 27 August 2021.

[13] Asylum Office, Decisions Nos. 26-1337/20, 29 June 2021 and 26-103/20, 30 June 2021.

[14] Asylum Office, Decision No. 26-2296/22, 29 June 2022.

[15] Asylum Office, Decision No. 26-1635/21, 17 August 2022.

[16] Asylum Office, Decision No. 26-688/22, 15 September 2022.

[17] E.g. ECtHR, D. v. UK, Application No 30240/96, Judgment of 2 May 1997, EDAL, available at:

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection