Tuesday 11 June 2013

New Handbook on ECHR and EU Law on Asylum, Borders and Immigration

A cooperative project between the European Court of Human Rights and the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union has resulted in a Handbook on European law relating to asylum, borders and immigration. It was presented today in Strasbourg. Here are the relevant parts of the Court's press release on it:
Today’s handbook is the first comprehensive guide to European law in the areas of asylum, borders and immigration, taking into account both the case-law of the ECtHR and that of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). It also contains the relevant EU Regulations and Directives, as well as references to the European Social Charter (ESC) and other Council of Europe instruments.

The handbook focuses on law covering the situation of third-country nationals in Europe and covers a broad range of topics, including access to asylum procedures, procedural safeguards and legal support in asylum and return cases, detention and restrictions to freedom of movement, forced returns, and economic and social rights. The guide is aimed at lawyers, judges, prosecutors, border guards, immigration officials and others working with national authorities, as well as non-governmental organisations and other bodies that may be confronted with legal questions in the areas covered by the handbook.

“European Union legislation relating to asylum, borders and immigration is developing fast and becoming increasingly complex,” said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum at a seminar held today at the ECtHR in Strasbourg on the occasion of the launch. “This handbook offers, in a user friendly manner, information and assistance to practitioners in the field, improving the rights situation of migrants and asylum seekers in the EU.”

“Improving the understanding of common principles developed in the case-law of the ECtHR and the CJEU in this field is essential for the proper implementation of relevant standards and ensuring the full respect of human rights at national level,” said Court President Dean Spielmann in his opening words at the seminar.
The book can be downloaded for free from the Court's website in English, French, German and Italian. Translations into Spanish, Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian, Croatian, Hungarian and Polish will follow later in 2013.

Two years ago an earlier but comparative handbook was published, on the issue of non-discrimination in the EU and ECHR legal orders.