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Court judgment on delay in deciding asylum application

On 13 October 2016 the European Court of Human Rights handed down a Chamber judgment in B.A.C. v. Greece. The case concerned an asylum-seeker of Turkish nationality who had been waiting for a final decision from the Greek authorities on his request for asylum since 2002. At the date of the Court’s judgment, no final decision had yet been made. Pending the final decision, the applicant had been given only an asylum-seeker’s card, which meant that he was not entitled to the rights accorded to those holding valid residence permits.

The Court found in particular that the failure by the authorities to determine the applicant’s asylum application for a period of more than 14 years without any justification had breached the positive obligations inherent in his right to respect for his private life under Article 8 of the Convention. It also found that there would be a breach of the prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment under Article 3, taken together with the right to an effective remedy guaranteed by Article 13, if the applicant were returned to Turkey in the absence of an assessment by the Greek authorities of his prospective personal circumstances.  (read more)