The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg has ruled that Hungary's asylum process is partly in violation of EU law. The ruling said that Hungary's asylum system violates EU law as it is designed to limit access to the case files for certain applicants as well as for their legal council.
The European Union's highest court examined the case of a Syrian asylum applicant in Hungary whose protection status as a refugee was removed by Hungarian authorities in 2019 -- despite him securing protection back in 2012 already.
The ECJ statement related to the case said that two authorities in Hungary had stripped the asylum seeker of his protection status after deciding that he posed a threat to national security. The ECJ added however that this was a non-reasoned assessment.
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Authorities had furthermore refused to grant access to the case file related to the application without giving any reason for the subsequent decision against the applicant, the ECJ explained.
While it was argued that this procedure was in full compliance with Hungarian legislation, it is, however, not consistent with EU law, as the asylum seeker and their legal representatives did not have access to the file to prepare their defence.
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Legal systems at loggerheads
A Hungarian court had referred the matter to the ECJ after the Syrian asylum seeker in question appealed against the removal of his protection status. In assessing the case, the ECJ found that restricting an asylum seeker's right to information on their application is indeed unlawful.
Despite Hungarian national legislation requiring that the background of asylum applicants is indeed checked and assessed by its national security agencies, the ECJ noted that asylum decisions cannot be made based solely on their input, as this would be in breach of EU law.
The EU's top court based in Luxembourg has already overturned other parts of the Hungarian asylum system in previous such rulings. Similar decision have also been handed down by the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights.
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