Case summary

Deciding Body
Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania
Lietuvos vyriausiasis administracinis teismas
Lithuania
National case details
Date of decision: 22.09.15
Registration ID: A-3673-822/2015
Instance: Cassation (review)
Case status: Final
Area of law
Migration and asylum


Return
Detention
Safeguards for access to justice
Art. 41 CFREU

Identification of the case

Fundamental rights involved
  • Right to good administration (art. 41 CFREU)
EU law sources
  • Article 41 EU Charter
  • Return Directive

Summary of the case

Facts of the case
The Supreme Administrative Court was called to decide whether the applicant should be further kept in detention while his return procedures were ongoing. Initially he was apprehended having crossed the state border illegally, and detained in order to establish his identity (citizenship). During his interview he explained that he had left his country of origin because he wanted to find a job in Russia and to live and work in France later. The applicant claimed that he was a minor and that his identity had been established, therefore a measure alternative to detention should be applied. An independent expert in the case gave his opinion that the applicant was over 20 years old, and likely to be 20 to 25 years old. The ID card was submitted to the case by a woman who claimed to be the applicant’s mother; however, there was no evidence that the woman was indeed the mother of the applicant, or that the ID card was not fraudulent.
Type of enforcement
  • Administrative judicial enforcement
Measures, actions, remedies claimed/applied
The annulment of the detention measure was rejected
Reasoning (legal principles applied)
The Court was called to decide whether the applicant should be further kept in detention while his return procedures were ongoing. The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania took into account the fact that the identity of the applicant had not been established, that he changed his statements concerning his name and date of birth, that according to the expert’s opinion he was an adult, and concluded that his detention was necessary in order to take a decision on his return. Thus the Court upheld the decision of the first instance court to keep the applicant in detention for another three months. However, the Court also stressed the importance of the principle of good administration, and reminded that the competent institutions would not be able to rely on the circumstance that they are not receiving an official answer from an embassy regarding the veracity of the applicant’s ID document for an unlimited time.

Role of the Charter and role of the general principles on enforcement

Relation to scope of the Charter
The principle of good administration had double effect in this case. First in regard to the age assessment evaluation. The Supreme Administrative Court asked for several proof of the age of the applicant, in addition to the opinion of the expert. Including the identity documents, information as regards the mother of the applicant. When deciding on the length of detention, the Supreme Administrative Court relied on the requirements of the principle of good administration. The Court reminded the competent institutions would not be able to rely on the circumstance that they are not receiving an official answer from an embassy regarding the veracity of the applicant’s ID document for an unlimited time.
Safeguards for access to justice
  • Explicit reference to Art. 41 CFREU (right to good administration)
Relevance of CFREU and ECHR articles or related rights
Court stressed the importance of the principle of good administration, and reminded that the competent institutions would not be able to rely on the circumstance that they are not receiving an official answer from an embassy regarding the veracity of the applicant’s ID document for an unlimited time.

Elements of judicial dialogue

Dialogue techniques
Conform interpretation with EU law as interpreted by the CJEU.
Purposes of using judicial dialogue
Through the use of consistent interpretation technique the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania translated Art 41 of the EU Charter into the domestic good administration standard in area of migration and asylum.

Case author

Madalina Moraru, University of Trento

Published by Sara Paiusco on 28 June 2018

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