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Tarakhel v. Switzerland (Eur. Ct. H.R.)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Christina M. Cerna
Affiliation:
Georgetown University Law Centre Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (ret’d Dec. 31, 2011)

Extract

On November 4, 2014, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) held in Tarakhel v. Switzerland, in a 14 to 3 decision, that Swiss authorities would violate Article 3 (prohibition of torture/inhuman and degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights (European Convention) if the applicants were to be expelled to Italy, in application of the Dublin Regulation, without Switzerland having first obtained assurances from the Italian authorities that “the applicants would be taken charge of in a manner adapted to the age of the children and that the family would be kept together.”

Type
International Legal Materials
Copyright
Copyright © American Society of International Law 2015

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References

* This text was reproduced and reformatted from the text available at the European Court of Human Rights website (visited May 11, 2015), http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-148070.

1 Tarakhel v. Switzerland, Eur. Ct. H.R. 2014, ¶ 143, http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-148070. Under the Dublin Regulation, EU and other European non-EU member states cooperate in determining which state is responsible for examining an asylum application lodged on their territory.

2 Id. ¶¶ 1–3. Articles 3 and 8 respectively prohibit torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and protect family life.

3 Id. ¶¶ 9–11.

4 Id. ¶¶ 12–18, 26–27.

5 Id. ¶¶ 19–30.

6 M.S.S. v. Belgium & Greece, 2011-I Eur. Ct. H.R. 255.

7 Soering v. U.K., 161 Eur. H.R. Rep. (ser. A), ¶¶ 56, 98–99 (1989). In Soering v. U.K., the British Home Secretary signed a warrant for the extradition of the applicant, a West German national, who faced capital murder charges in Virginia, where he and his girlfriend were accused of murdering her parents. The Court unanimously held that the years that the applicant would have to spend on “death row” in extreme conditions of anguish awaiting the imposition of the death penalty and his youth (he was 18 at the time of the murder) would be a breach of Article 3 of the Convention. The U.K. initially refused to extradite him because of the possibility of the imposition of death penalty but eventually surrendered him on charges of non-capital murder. Soering was convicted of the killing of his girlfriend’s parents and given two life terms.

8 Chahal v. U.K., 23 Eur. H.R. Rep. 413 (1996); Saadi v. Italy, 2008-II Eur. Ct. H.R. 207.

9 UNHCR, Asylum Trends 2013, Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries 8 (2013)Google Scholar, available at http://www.unhcr.org/5329b15a9.html.

10 Dean, Spielmann, President of the European Court of Human Rights, Solemn Hearing for the Opening of the Judicial Year of the European Court of Human Rights, Opening Speech, Strasbourg, at 4 (January 30, 2015)Google Scholar.

11 Id.

12 Id.

1 The footnotes have been omitted.

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