Asylum and Immigration Detention: the Protection of Fundamental Rights in the European Union

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Overview

The course is aimed at providing the audience with knowledge and skills on a very sensitive topic, especially since many migrants moving from third countries to Member States are in vulnerable conditions. That happens particularly to third country nationals who seek (international) protection on the “territory” of the European Union.

The problem is that domestic practice at European level has been showing that many third country nationals undergo fundamental rights breaches by national authorities of the host Member States. Accordingly, this topic deserves to be dedicated a high degree of attention by legal practitioners, with an emphasis on domestic judges.

 

In particular, the course seeks to offer guidelines to enable Member States’ judges to apply relevant EU rules in a consistent way. To achieve this goal, the course focuses on the core rights that have to be recognized and guaranteed to third country nationals when their freedom is restricted for reasons concerning their presence in the host Member State. More precisely, the course serves to identify and clarify the main EU law provisions in this context and to assess them under the lens of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Therefore, although many EU secondary law provisions are discussed vis à vis the practice of the Member States, the course revolves around the application of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights in the cases concerned. However, with a view to fully capturing the essence of the Charter, consideration will also be given to the standards of protection ensured by the European Convention on Human Rights by means of the European Court of Human Rights, as its case law is most of the times of paramount importance for the ECJ when addressing fundamental rights.

 

 

Syllabus

Week 1:

Week 1 provides key definition concerning asylum seekers and irregular migrants as well as essential safeguards enshrined in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and in the European Convention of Human Rights regarding their rights, such as non-refoulement and the right to asylum. At the end of Week 1, you will be acquainted with the concept of international protection at the international and EU level and with the main protection instruments that EU Member States (MSs) have deployed to grant protection to people in need.

 

Week 2:

In Week 2, we will start addressing the topic of asylum and immigration detention, beginning from its definition. At the end of this week, you will be able to mark the differences between asylum and immigration detention and the divergent set of laws that apply to each case. You will learn on which respective grounds detention can be ordeded for these categories of people. In this week, you will become familiar with the scope and the powers of judicial authorities and with the extent of judicial review.

 

Week 3:

Week 3 illustrates alternative measures of detention that must be always preferred to detention where possible. It also explores remedies and procedural safeguards that the EU Charter and EU law provide to detainees in case of asylum or immigration detention. After this week, you will gain a strong knowledge on those fundamental rights derived from Article 47 EU Charter and on the conditions under which a decision of removal or a voluntary departure can be issued.

 

Week 4:

Week 4 concerns vulnerable groups and the particular attention that national and judicial authorities must give to their special needs. After having deeply described both the features of their vulnerability and the special provisions that apply to them, we will lead your attention to the particular case of victims of trafficking in human beings. In this regard, you will learn the key features of this transnational phenomenon, its drastic implications on the victims, how international and EU law deal with this crime, what services and protection are offered to the victims, and what efforts are still needed.

 

Week 5:

Week 5 finally provides you with a rich list of fundamental rights that asylum seekers and TCNs are entitled to under the EU Charter, while showing their correlation with the European Convention on Human Rights. Most importantly, you will learn how to enforce human rights by triggering the application of the EU Charter.