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ASYLUM PROCEDURE: THE CROATIAN EXAMPLE LEGAL PROVISIONS, PRACTICE AND FAILURES ANDREJ KRBEC FACULTY OF LAW UNIVERSITY OF ZAGREB.

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Presentation on theme: "ASYLUM PROCEDURE: THE CROATIAN EXAMPLE LEGAL PROVISIONS, PRACTICE AND FAILURES ANDREJ KRBEC FACULTY OF LAW UNIVERSITY OF ZAGREB."— Presentation transcript:

1 ASYLUM PROCEDURE: THE CROATIAN EXAMPLE LEGAL PROVISIONS, PRACTICE AND FAILURES ANDREJ KRBEC FACULTY OF LAW UNIVERSITY OF ZAGREB

2 INTERNATIONAL LAW AND ASYLUM IN CROATIA – I. The Universal Declaration on Human Rights of 1948, states in Article 14: “(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.” Further development : Resolution of the General Assembly (2312 (XXII) from 1967) Introduction of the principle of non-refoulement

3 INTERNATIONAL LAW AND ASYLUM IN CROATIA – II. Article 33 of the Croatian Constitution: Integration of principles stemming from international law ʺ (1) Foreign citizens and persons without citizenship may receive asylum in the Republic of Croatia, under the condition that they are not being persecuted for non- political crimes or for activities in direct contravention of the principles of international law. (2) Foreigners lawfully in the territory of the Republic of Croatia may not be deported or turned over to another country, unless it is to execute a decision made in keeping with international treaty and law. ʺ Asylum law in Croatia – Law on Asylum from 2007, amended in 2010

4 ASYLUM PROCEDURE IN CROATIA – I. Principle of non-refoulement - Article 3 repeats wording of Resolution of the General Assembly (2312 (XXII) from 1967) Principle of “sur place” (“sur place” refugees): Persons who, though their departure from their country of origin was legal, later fulfill the criteria for requesting asylum Granted same status as asylum seekers and can be granted asylum Protection of illegal migrants Only if they arrived directly from their country of origin Concept of safe third country integrated – criteria for determining safe third country: Reports of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Reports of the Council of Europe Practice of EU member states

5 ASYLUM PROCEDURE IN CROATIA – II. Two instances: First instance – Ministry of Internal Affairs Final Instance – Committee Committee – special body established by Law on Asylum Mixed body – comprised of representatives of: State administration University professors Judges Representatives of non-governmental organizations Delivers final decision on appeal against first instance decisions Option to bring action before Administrative Court

6 ASYLUM PROCEDURE IN CROATIA – III. Procedure begins with asylum request – can be made: Anywhere in the country, On a border crossing, or in any transit area of an airport or seaport in the country In last two cases – option to keep asylum seeker in the transit area or at the border crossing itself First instance decision delievered after hearing – review of submitted evidence and questioning of asylum seeker Legal representation not required by law – legal aid only available during the procedure before the Administrative Court Appeal against first instance decision procedure before the Committee

7 ASYLUM PROCEDURE IN CROATIA – IV. Grounds for refusal: Does not fulfill basic conditions No justified fear of persecution No real risk of suffering grave injustice Grounds for halting procedure: Seeker retracts request Fails to justify absence from hearing within 24 hours Invitation to hearing cannot be delivered due to seeker’s actions Seeker leaves the country (pre-amendment: attempts to leave) Seeker leaves shelter or place of habitation for 3 days without reporting to the Ministry

8 ASYLUM PROCEDURE IN PRACTICE – I. Recorded instances of illegal border crossings: from cases in 2010 to cases in 2011, a 64,4% increase Steadily growing number of asylum requests From 120 requests in 2009 (+571,7%) ! Country Total (number, rounded figures) Change, in % Croatia ,9 Austria* Hungary* Italy* Slovenia* 360 EU ,5

9 ASYLUM PROCEDURE IN PRACTICE – II. Decisions (cases from 2010) 2011 (new) Change, in % First instance Positive decisions 3- 2 Negative decisions Subsidiary protection Halted Rejected--- Total ,3 Final decisions Appeal 8- 7 Subsidiary protection 32 2 Positive decisions 31 2 Refused consideration --- Rejected Halted131 Abolished 1 Aborted 2 Total ,9

10 ASYLUM PROCEDURE IN PRACTICE – III. Country Total No. of decisions Positive decisions Rejected Total Refugee status Subsidiary protection Humanitarian reasons First instance Austria Hungary Italy Slovenia EU Final decisions Austria Hungary Italy Slovenia EU

11 THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION


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