Today, the ICJ submitted a third-party intervention in the case of M.B. v. Spain before the European Court of Human Rights.
The case arose from the attempted removal of a lesbian asylum applicant to Cameroon. The ICJ’s written submissions focus on the relevance of the Refugee Convention, as interpreted by a number of domestic courts, and the EU asylum acquis and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, to the determination of the scope and content of non-refoulement obligations under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) of those Contracting Parties that are also EU Member States.
The ICJ’s intervention, in particular, addresses the following:
- the requirement of coerced (including self-enforced) concealment of one’s same-sex sexual orientation, which constitutes persecution under refugee law and is incompatible with the ECHR, in particular Article 3; and,
- the criminalization of consensual same-sex sexual conduct, which gives rise to a real risk of Article 3 prohibited treatment, thus triggering non-refoulement obligations under that provision of the ECHR.