Expulsion and extradition
The Court's Press Service has compiled Factsheets by theme on the Court’s case-law and pending cases.
These factsheets are available on the Court's website (www.echr.coe.int/ECHR/EN/Header/Press/Information+sheets/Factsheets)
We summarized some of them for our readers and recommend to visit the Court's website on these topics.
- Risk of ill-treatment in the requesting country
The European Court of Human Rights found that the State’s responsibility could be engaged if it decided to extradite a person who risked being subjected to ill-treatment in the requesting country
The European Court of Human Rights held that there would be a violation of Article 3 if the applicant were to be extradited to the United States (real risk of being put on “death row”, treatment.
E.C.H.R., 07.07.1989, Soering v. United Kingdom
The European Court of Human Rights found a violation of Article 3 if an order for the deportation to Saint-Kitts of an Aids sufferer in the last stages of the disease were to be enforced.
E.C.H.R., 02.05.1997, D. v. United Kingdom
- Risks of ill treatment by third parties
1. The applicant alleged that he would suffer inhuman treatment if he were deported to the Democratic Republic of Congo, given his background and in particular his close connections with former President Mobutu.
The European Court of Human Rights found a violation of Article 3 if the deportation order were to be enforced.
E.C.H.R., 26.07.2005, N. v. Finland
2. The European Court of Human Rights found a risk of domestic violence in particular in the event of deportation to Afghanistan.
The European Court of Human Rights noted that, according to reports, around 80% of Afghani women were victims of domestic violence, acts which the authorities regarded as legitimate and therefore did not prosecute.
E.C.H.R., 20.07.2010 N. v. Sweden
- Risk of a death sentence
The applicant, an Iranian national, had fled Iran and gone to Turkey fearing a death sentence by stoning or flogging for adultery : violation of Article 3 if the deportation order to Iran were to be enforced.
E.C.H.R., 11.07.2000, Jabari v. Turkey
- Interim measures (Rule 39 of the Rules of Court)
The European Court of Human Rights applies interim measures in a large number of cases relating to expulsions/extraditions.
These are measures taken in the course of the proceedings before the Court and do not indicate how the Court will subsequently rule on the admissibility/merits of the cases in question. They usually consist of staying the expulsion of the applicant pending examination of the application.
- Risk of denial of a fair trial
The European Court of Human Rights does not exclude that an issue might exceptionally be raised under Article 6 by an extradition decision in circumstances where the fugitive has suffered or risks suffering a flagrant denial of a fair trial in the requesting country.
For alleged international terrorists detained in the United Kingdom, pending their extradition to the United States, the European Court of Human Rights found that there was no reason to doubt the diplomatic assurances given by the US Government.
However, as concerned post-trial detention three of the applicants were at real risk of being held at a prison in the United States having the highest possible security level.
The European Court of Human Rights further declared admissible the complaints concerning the length of possible sentence, three of the applicants facing life sentences without parole.
E.C.H.R., 08.07.2010, Babar Ahmad and Others v. United Kingdom : applications declared partly admissible
- Prohibition of collective expulsion of aliens
Article 4 of Protocol N°4 to the Convention prohibits collective expulsion of aliens.
The European Court of Human Rights found that the expulsion procedure followed which did not afford sufficient guarantees demonstrating that the personal circumstances of each of the persons concerned had been genuinely and individually taken into account, violates this prohibition.
E.C.H.R., 05.02.2002, Conka v. Belgium
- Procedural safeguards relating to expulsion of aliens
1. Under Article 1 of Protocol N°7 to the Convention :
" 1. An alien lawfully resident in the territory of a State shall not be expelled therefrom except in pursuance of a decision reached in accordance with law and shall be
1. to submit reasons against his expulsion,
2. to have his case reviewed, and
3. to be represented for these purposes before the competent authority or a person or persons designated by that authority.
2. An alien may be expelled before the exercise of his rights under paragraph 1.a, b and c of this Article, when such expulsion is necessary in the interests of public order or is grounded on reasons of national security."
Thus the European Court of Human Rights found violation of Article 1 of Protocol N°7 because Bulgaria had not examined the arguments advanced against expulsion, ordered on national security grounds.
E.C.H.R., 02.09.2010, Kaushal and Others v. Bulgaria,
2. On the same topic, the European Court of Human Rights may also found violations under Article 13 and the right to an effective remedy where procedural safeguards are denied to an alien, for example when the applicant complained that under French law there was no remedy with suspensive effect against decisions refusing leave to enter the country or directing removal.
E.C.H.R., 26.04.2007, Gebremedhin v. France