The Protection of Refugees under the Common European Asylum System: The Establishment of a European Jurisdiction for Asylum Purposes and Compliance with International Refugee and Human Rights Law
Cuadernos Europeos de Deusto, Vol. 36, pp. 153-182, March 2007
30 Pages Posted: 1 May 2007
The entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam on 1 May 1999 marked the transformation of the legal framework where the process of European integration in the field of asylum was to take place. This paper shall focus on the analysis of the legal issues derived from the establishment of an intra-EU asylum space where internal borders are transformed to give way to a quasi-single jurisdiction for the treatment of refugees in certain circumstances, while at the same time Member States remain individually responsible in the international sphere under international refugee and human rights law. It shall be argued that Member States have an obligation to comply with international refugee and human rights law when implementing EC asylum legislation and the contours of that obligation shall be analysed. On the basis of the obligation thus outlined, it shall also be argued that in absence of a fully harmonised single EU jurisdiction for asylum purposes, the current system of transfer of responsibility for refugees among the Member States may breach the obligations of Member States towards refugees under international refugee and human rights law under certain circumstances. To conclude some reflections on ways to mitigate the undesired consequences of the current system shall be offered.
Keywords: Refugees, Human Rights, Dublin Regulation, European Union, International Law
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