Publication details

Czech Litigation on Systematic Detention of Asylum Seekers: Ripple Effects across Europe


MORARU Madalina Bianca JANKŮ Linda

Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source European Journal of Migration and Law
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

Web Web časopisu
Keywords detention; Dublin III Regulation; Return Directive; EU Charter of Fundamental Rights; European Convention of Human Rights; strategic litigation; Czech Public Defender of Rights (Ombudsman); Court of Justice of the European Union
Description This article investigates the development of national litigation against the Czech Republic’s governmental policy to detain asylum seekers under the Dublin III Regulation, as a means to address the so-called refugee crisis. The outcome of this litigation has been the preliminary ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Al Chodor case, which has been praised for enhancing domestic standards of protection of asylum seekers and returnees’ right to liberty across the EU. The article demonstrates that this preliminary ruling has been a catalyst for domestic legislative and jurisprudential reforms across the EU, improving to a certain extent the protection of the right to liberty of asylum seekers. However, it is argued that in the Czech Republic the case has not initiated a change in the legislation, nor has it reduced the systematic use of asylum detention. The article identifies some important legal, political and social factors from within and beyond courtrooms that have contributed to this ambiguous outcome of the Czech litigation. It concludes by identifying circumstances that need to be taken into account when using the preliminary reference procedure as a tool for strategic litigation.

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