Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 October 2019, 13:33 GMT

Legal Information

The Refworld legal collection has been designed primarily as a tool for disseminating and promoting (international) law relating to refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons and other persons of concern to UNHCR.

UNHCR staff, refugee lawyers, all those involved with refugee-status determination within Governments, and others concerned with the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, can find a wealth of relevant documents in the collection. Included in the collection is a unique jurisprudence collection, covering more than 40 national jurisdictions, and a vast amount of international judgments and decisions from the United Nations, the European Court of Human Rights and other international and regional courts. A comprehensive collection of international instruments relating to refugees and human rights, with the most recent lists of States Parties to key conventions, is also available. The legislation collection, contains national and international legislation relevant in assessing asylum claims and is the largest collection of its kind. Finally, Refworld contains many special agreements, such as memoranda of understanding, host-country agreements and voluntary repatriation agreements.

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CASE OF G.B. AND OTHERS v. TURKEY (Application no. 4633/15)

The Court further notes that the move in international law towards adopting alternative measures to the administrative detention of migrants appears to concern not only children, but also their parents. violation of the applicants’ rights under Article 5 § 4 of the Convention on account of the failure of both the Istanbul Magistrates’ Court and the Constitutional Court to conduct a review of the lawfulness of their detention in an effective and speedy manner. The Court notes, once again, that the review mechanism set out under Law no. 6458 appears to be wholly ineffective in a case, such as the present one, where the detention of a minor in the immigration context is not based on an administrative decision.

17 October 2019 | Judicial Body: Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights | Document type: Case Law | Legal Instrument: 1950 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) | Topic(s): Arbitrary arrest and detention - Effective remedy - Freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment - Prison or detention conditions - Right to liberty and security | Countries: Russian Federation - Turkey

UNHCR-Analyse des Entwurfs für das Salzburger Sozialunterstützungsgesetz

14 October 2019 | Publisher: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) | Document type: Policy/Position Papers

AFFAIRE O.D. c. BULGARIE (Requête no 34016/18)

The Court held that "- that O.D.’s removal to Syria would amount to a violation of Article 2 (right to life) and Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights - that there had been a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy), read in conjunction with Articles 2 and 3. The Court found, in particular, that in view of the overall situation in Syria and the individual risk faced by the applicant it could not be established that he could safely return to Syria. The Court also found that the applicant had not had access to an effective remedy, noting that his request for a stay of execution of the expulsion order had been rejected on the grounds that he posed a threat to national security, and that the proceedings relating to the application for refugee status or humanitarian status had not been aimed at reviewing the lawfulness of the expulsion order or its effects in relation to the complaints concerning the right to life and the right not to be subjected to ill-treatment. ..."

10 October 2019 | Judicial Body: Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights | Document type: Case Law | Legal Instrument: 1950 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) | Topic(s): Effective remedy - Freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment - Right to life | Countries: Bulgaria - Syrian Arab Republic

CASE OF SZUROVECZ v. HUNGARY (Application no. 15428/16)

The case concerned media access to reception facilities for asylum-seekers. The applicant in the case, a journalist for an Internet news portal, complained about the authorities’ refusal of his request to carry out interviews and take photographs at the Debrecen Reception Centre, thus preventing him from reporting on the living conditions there. The Court stressed that research work was an essential part of press freedom and had to be protected. It was not convinced that restricting the applicant’s ability to carry out such research work, which had prevented him from reporting first-hand on a matter of considerable public interest, namely the refugee crisis in Hungary, had been sufficiently justified. In particular, the authorities had only given summary reasons, namely possible problems for the safety and private lives of asylum-seekers, for their refusal, without any real weighing up of the interests at stake.

8 October 2019 | Judicial Body: Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights | Document type: Case Law | Legal Instrument: 1950 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) | Topic(s): Freedom of expression | Countries: Hungary

Resolution 2307 (2019) A legal status for "climate refugees"

3 October 2019 | Publisher: Council of Europe: Parliamentary Assembly | Document type: Resolutions/Recommendations/Declarations

AFFAIRE KAAK ET AUTRES c. GRÈCE (Requête no 34215/16)

The case concerned the conditions of detention of Syrian, Afghan and Palestinian nationals in the “hotspots” of Vial and Souda (Greece), and the lawfulness of their detention in those camps. The Court considered that the authorities had done all that could reasonably be expected of them in the Vial camp to meet the obligation to provide care and protection to unaccompanied minors. The other applicants had been transferred immediately – or within ten days – from the Vial camp to the Souda camp. The Court also held that the conditions of detention in the Souda camp did not amount to inhuman or degrading treatment. The Court reiterated its previous finding that a period of one month’s detention in the Vial camp should not be considered excessive, given the time needed to comply with the relevant administrative formalities. In addition, the length of the applicants’ detention once they had expressed their wish to apply for asylum had been relatively short. In contrast, the applicants, who did not have legal assistance, had not been able to understand the content of the information brochure; in particular, they were unable to understand the material relating to the various appeal possibilities available under domestic law.

3 October 2019 | Judicial Body: Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights | Document type: Case Law | Legal Instrument: 1950 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) | Topic(s): Access to procedures - Arbitrary arrest and detention - Freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment - Legal representation / Legal aid - Right to liberty and security | Countries: Afghanistan - Greece - Palestine, State of - Syrian Arab Republic

Resolution 2305 (2019) Saving lives in the Mediterranean Sea: the need for an urgent response

3 October 2019 | Publisher: Council of Europe: Parliamentary Assembly | Document type: Resolutions/Recommendations/Declarations

UNHCR Stellungnahme zum Gesetzentwurf des Bundesministeriums des Innern, für Bau und Heimat: Viertes Gesetz zur Änderung des Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetzes und anderer Gesetze

October 2019 | Publisher: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) | Document type: Comments on National Legislation

UNHCR Comments on the Draft Law on Asylum in the Republic of Albania

October 2019 | Publisher: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) | Document type: Comments on National Legislation

UNHCR Comments on the Draft Law on Citizenship in the Republic of Albania

October 2019 | Publisher: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) | Document type: Comments on National Legislation

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