Poland: ICJ and others intervene to support the binding effect of interim measures

The ICJ, together with other NGOs, intervened before the European Court of Human Rights in MA v Poland, concerning interim measures to protect applicants for asylum at the Polish-Belarus border.

The case concerned a family of asylum seekers who sought to apply for international protection in Poland, at a border crossing with Belarus, but were repeatedly turned away by border guards. The European Court granted interim measures indicating that the applicants should not be returned from Poland to Belarus, and that their asylum application should be examined by the Polish authorities. These interim measures were not complied with.

In their third party intervention in the case, the ICJ, ECRE, AIRE Centre and the Dutch Council for Refugees emphasised the binding nature of the obligation to comply with interim measures of the European Court of Human Rights, supported by the jurisprudence of the Court and by comparative standards of other international human rights mechanisms.

They further submitted that, where interim measures relate to children, irrespective of whether the children are applicants in the case, the State must abide by the measure indicated with special diligence and take the appropriate protective measures which the age, level of maturity, environment and experiences of the children require.

Poland-MA-ECtHR-amicus-ICJ&others-final-eng-2017 (download the intervention)

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