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Key Words Archives: Regular reporting

Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH), Practical Guidance on Alternatives to Immigration Detention: Fostering Effective Results

This Practical Guidance was adopted by the Steering Committee for Human Rights of the Council of Europe at its 91st meeting (18-21 June 2019). Its main focus is on the practical aspects of applying alternatives to detention, considering also the fact that in this field a ‘one size fits all’ approach is not possible. The Guidance covers the legal framework of the alternatives to detention system, the types of alternatives and the ways to make them effective.

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CJEU, Hassen El Dridi case, Case no. C-61/11 PPU, 28 April 2011

The CJEU found that the Directive 2008/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Members States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals must be interpreted as precluding a Member State’s legislation which provides for a sentence of imprisonment to be imposed on an illegally staying third-country national on the sole ground that they remain, without valid grounds, on the territory of that State, contrary to an order to leave that territory within a given period.

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General comment No. 35 (2014) of the UN Human Rights Committee (CCPR) on Article 9: Liberty and Security of a person

The UN Human Rights Committee stated that detention in the course of proceedings for the control of immigration is not per se arbitrary, but the detention must be justified as reasonable, necessary and proportionate in the light of the circumstances and reassessed as it extends in time.

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UN Human Rights Committee (CCPR), Baban v. Australia, Communication 1014/2001, Views of 18 September 2003

The UN Human Rights Committee recalled that, in order to avoid a characterization of arbitrariness, detention should not continue beyond the period for which the State Party can provide appropriate justification. Furthermore, judicial review of the lawfulness of detention under article 9, paragraph 4, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is not limited to mere compliance of the detention with domestic law but must include the possibility to order release if the detention is incompatible with the requirements of the Covenant, in particular those of article 9, paragraph 1.

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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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