Judicial review of the detention order


Country Report: Judicial review of the detention order Last updated: 30/04/24


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With the exception of 48-hour detention of persons pending investigation on their right to remain in Sweden (see Grounds for Detention), a detention order must be reviewed within 2 weeks, while detention orders against persons issued with a removal decision are reviewed within 2 months.[1] Review of alternatives to detention (“supervision”) is carried out within 6 months.[2]

Where time limits are not respected, a decision to detain or hold a person under supervision ceases to be legally binding.[3]

Each review of a detention order must be preceded by an oral hearing.[4] This also applies to supervision, unless it appears obvious from the nature of the investigation or other circumstances that no hearing is needed.

A decision regarding detention can be appealed.[5] Depending on the authority responsible for the initial decision to detain, an appeal can be made either to the Migration Agency, the Migration Courts or to the Migration Court of Appeal. In the case of the latter, no leave to appeal is required as is the case for an asylum application. In certain cases, it is the responsible minister that can make a decision on detention. This detention decision can be reconsidered in accordance with the time limits and changed by the government. A government confirmation of a detention order can only be changed by another authority if new circumstances arise that are raised before the Migration Agency in the form of a subsequent application. However, a government order must also be reviewed according to the legal time limits.

In October 2019, the Migration Court of Appeal clarified that the 12-month time limit is the maximum time limit an alien may be held in detention for the purpose of enforcement of a removal order. This applies also to the case where the removal failed and the person is brought back to Sweden and subsequently detained. This cannot be considered as a new detention order and it must thus not exceed 12 months in total.[6]



[1] Ch. 10, Section 9(1) Aliens Act.

[2] Ch. 10, Section 9(2) Aliens Act.

[3] Ch. 10, Section 10 Aliens Act.

[4] Ch. 10, Section 11(1) Aliens Act.

[5] Ch. 14, Section 9 Aliens Act

[6] Migration Court of Appeal, MIG 2019:17, 22 October 2019, available in Swedish at: http://bit.ly/3WDmk2H.

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
  • ANNEX – I Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation