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Organisations / Bodies / Institutions Archives: European Court of Human Rights

Khan v. France, ECtHR, Application No. 12267/16, Judgment of 28 February 2019

In its judgment the ECtHR reiterated the finding that States Parties have a positive obligation to protect and take care of unaccompanied migrant children under Article 3 ECHR and Article 20 CRC. In cases concerning foreign minors, whether accompanied or unaccompanied, the child’s situation of extreme vulnerability is the decisive factor and it takes precedence over considerations relating to their status as an irregular migrant.

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Sh. D. and others v. Greece, Austria, Croatia, Hungary, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia, ECtHR, Application No. 14165/16, Judgment of 13 September 2019

In its judgment the ECtHR reiterated the finding that States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child have a positive obligation to protect and take care of unaccompanied migrant children under Article 3 ECHR and Article 20 CRC. The decision also challenged the lawfulness of the detention of migrant children on the basis of the best interests of the child principle.

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Amuur v. France, ECtHR, Application No. 19776/92, Judgment of 25 June 1996

The Court found that the detention of aliens pending deportation is acceptable only in order to enable States to prevent unlawful immigration while complying with their international obligations, particularly under the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the ECHR. Such holding should not be prolonged excessively, otherwise there would be a risk of it turning a mere restriction on liberty into a deprivation of liberty. In that connection account should be taken of the fact that the measure is applicable not to those who have committed criminal offences but to aliens who, often fearing for their lives, have fled from their own country.

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Saadi v. United Kingdom, ECtHR, Application No. 13229/03, Judgment of 29 January 2008

The Court recalled that it is a fundamental principle that no detention which is arbitrary can be compatible with Article 5 § 1 ECHR and the notion of ‘arbitrariness’ in Article 5 § 1 extends beyond lack of conformity with national law, so that a deprivation of liberty may be lawful in terms of domestic law but still arbitrary and thus contrary to the Convention. To avoid being branded as arbitrary, therefore, detention under Article 5 § 1 (f) must be carried out in good faith; it must be closely connected to the purpose of preventing unauthorised entry of the person to the country; the place and conditions of detention should be appropriate; and the length of the detention should not exceed that reasonably required for the purpose pursued.

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O.M. v. Hungary, ECtHR, Application No. 9912/15, Judgment of 5 July 2016

The Court recalls that detention is authorised under subparagraph (b) of Article 5 § 1 only to ‘secure the fulfilment’ of the obligation prescribed by law. It follows that, at the very least, there must be an unfulfilled obligation incumbent on the person concerned, and the arrest and detention must be for the purpose of securing its fulfilment and must not be punitive in character. As soon as the relevant obligation has been fulfilled, the basis for detention under Article 5 § 1 (b) ceases to exist.

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