Publication details

Judicial Dialogue in Action: Making Sense of the Risk of Absconding in the Return Procedure


MORARU Madalina Bianca

Year of publication 2020
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

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Description The concept of ‘risk of absconding’ has been introduced as a ground for immigration detention since 2008. Notwithstanding the abundant literature on immigration detention and the increasing European courts’ jurisprudence assessing the lawfulness of such measures at the domestic level, the substantive meaning of the term still appears “nebulous”. The purpose of this article is to shed light on its elements through a close examination of domestic and CJEU jurisprudence. It will be shown that the choices of State legislature have mostly been led by protectionist objectives, broadly defining the term, leading in several cases, particularly during the 2015 migration crisis, to systemic and arbitrary pre-removal detention. However, national courts are slowly but steadily starting to prioritise the EU general principles of legal certainty, individual assessment and proportionality, and fundamental rights protection when assessing the notion of ‘the risk of absconding’. Nevertheless, the interpretation and application of the ‘risk of absconding’ still poses difficulties for national courts. The Commission’s proposal for a recast of the Return Directive, while remedying one of the previous problems in the definition of the ‘risk of absconding’ – lack of definition of ‘objective criteria’ for assessing the risk of absconding, it nonetheless encourages wide spread use of pre-removal detention. In this context, the chapter analyses the contribution of judicial dialogue to ensuring respect for EU general principles of legality, certainty, proportionality, individual assessment and respect of irregular migrants’ fundamental rights.

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