Statement on Detention of Asylum Seekers and Irregular Migrants and the Rule of Law Approved


The ELI is proud to announce that the output of its pilot Project ‘Detention of Asylum Seekers and Irregular Migrants and the Rule of Law’ was voted upon by the ELI Council on 6 September 2017 and approved by an overwhelming majority.

The ELI wishes to thank the Project’s Reporter, Judge Boštjan Zalar, and the Members of the Project Team, Samuel Boutruche Zarevac, Marc Clément, Mark Clough, María-Teresa Gil-Bazo, Sergo Mananashvili, Pamela McCormick, Saša Sever, for their work and congratulates them on concluding this outstanding project.

About the Project

The rule of law has always been high on the EU legislator’s agenda, while specifically in the field of migration, the Commission adopted the European Agenda on Migration (COM(2015) 240 final) in May 2015. This agenda sets several policy tools for immediate actions in order to protect those in need. The sources of EU secondary law (Reception Conditions Directive 2013/33/EU, Return Directive 2008/115/EC and Dublin III Regulation) in the same field provide the rules on detention of asylum seekers and third country nationals (TCN).

Both the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) have developed extensive case law with regard to detention of TCN and asylum seekers. Numerous principles established therein and the norms offered by the EU legislation in place, may pose a challenge to the harmonised application of common standards in detention cases for the national judges across the EU Member States.

The ELI's project identified due process standards and material law including conditions for detention, designed to enhance the implementation of existing EU law in this field.

The ELI Statement

The approved Instrument can be found here.