Court name: Court of Justice of the European Union
State: Bulgaria
Date of decision:

The case concerns the eligibility for protection of a person born in Gaza, who holds a passport issued by the Palestinian National Authority, is registered with UNRWA, and sought asylum in Bulgaria. Interpreting Article 12(1)(a) of the 2011 Qualification Directive (equivalent to Article 1D of the Refugee Convention), the CJEU found that Article 1D, as lex specialis, must be considered prior to Article 1A of the Refugee Convention, that prior registration with UNRWA does not necessarily mean that the applicant could access sufficient protection in an UNRWA area, and that Palestinians are not included under the second paragraph of Article 1D and automatically entitled to protection if they could be admitted to any area where they could access effective assistance or protection from UNRWA and could live there in safe and dignified conditions for as long as necessary.

Court name: Migration Court of Appeal
State: Sweden
Date of decision:

The case concerns the application of Article 12 of the Qualification Directive (recast Directive 2011/95) on the possibility for those whose support from United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has ceased to obtain international protection. The main issue was the determination of which country had been the applicant’s habitual place of residence to examine the reasons for protection. In the applicant’s case, while he had lived in Syria for a significant length of time, his ties to Algeria were strong enough to permit the Court to find the latter to be his habitual place of residence and consequently the applicant’s appeal was dismissed as Algeria was found to be safe.

Court name: Austrian Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof, VfGH)
State: Austria
Date of decision:

The case concerned the rejection of the asylum applications submitted by a single mother and her five minor children, who are stateless Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and were registered with UNRWA. The Constitutional Court found a violation of equal treatment among foreigners and held that the Federal Administrative Court had failed to recognise the applicants’ right to ipso facto protection as refugees, disregarded UNHRC’s assessment criteria for the Gaza Strip, and did not give sufficient consideration of the vulnerability of a mother mother and her five minor children.

Court name: Court of Justice of the European Union
State: Hungary
Date of decision:

The case concerns a stateless person of Palestinian origin who was refused asylum in Hungary. The question before the CJEU concerned the circumstances in which a person is considered to be receiving "protection or assistance from organs or agencies of the United Nations other than [UNHCR]" within the meaning of Article 12(1)(a) of the 2004 Qualification Directive (equivalent to Article 1D of the Refugee Convention), and may therefore be entitled to refugee status when that protection or assistance ceases. The CJEU held that the words “at present” mean the present day, and that a person receives protection or assistance from UNRWA when that person has actually availed themselves of that protection or assistance, and not if they are entitled to but have not done so. It also noted that persons who have not actually availed themselves of protection or assistance from UNRWA, prior to their application for refugee status, may, in any event, have that application examined pursuant to Article 2(c) of the Directive.

Court name: Court of Justice of the European Union
State: Hungary
Date of decision:

The case concerns the interpretation and scope of Article 12(1)(a) of the 2004 Qualification Directive (equivalent to Article 1D of the Refugee Convention). The CJEU held that persons who have registered with UNRWA or received UNRWA’s assistance will not be excluded from refugee status if that assistance has ceased for reasons beyond their control and independent of their volition. However, mere absence from UNRWA’s area of operation or a voluntary decision to leave it cannot be regarded as cessation of assistance. A person will be considered to have been forced to leave UNRWA’s area of operation where their personal safety was at serious risk and it was impossible for UNRWA to guarantee their living conditions. Where UNRWA’s assistance has ceased for reasons beyond the control of the applicant, and other exclusion clauses are not applicable, the applicant is automatically entitled to refugee status, but they are required to have made an application for refugee status.

Court name: European Court of Human Rights
Date of decision:

The applicant challenged a decision depriving him of his British citizenship and excluding him from the United Kingdom because of his alleged involvement and link to terrorist-related activities. After failing in his appeals to the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Special Immigration Appeal Tribunal, the applicant complained to the European Court of Human Rights (‘the Court’) under Articles 8 and 14. The Court rejected all of the applicant’s complaints, finding them to be manifestly ill-founded, and declared the application inadmissible.

Court name: Administrative Court of Luxembourg
State: Luxembourg
Date of decision:

The applicant is a Palestinian from Syria, who holds a refugee status in Hungary. He also applied for a recognition as a stateless person in Luxembourg. The Court found that the 1954 Statelessness Convention was conceived as complementary to the Refugee Convention. Since the applicant as a refugee in Hungary received at least as good a protection as a Palestinian in an UNRWA protected territory, the latter category being explicitly excluded from the protection scope of the 1954 Convention, the applicant did not qualify for the recognition of a statelessness status in Luxembourg.