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International Protection

The AIRE Centre has always promoted recourse to the European Court of Human Rights for those in need of international protection in cases where the national authorities and domestic courts have failed to identify the risks and the Applicants' attendant rights. The Centre has secured interim measures from the Court in many cases to prevent expulsion whilst the Court considered the case.

Cases where the AIRE Centre has represented the Applicant or assisted the Legal Team

Third Party Interventions

Cases where the AIRE Centre has represented the Applicant or assisted the Legal Team

T.I. v United Kingdom (43844/98): The Applicant was a Sri Lankan national who had been subjected to inhuman treatment by the LTTE, the army, ENDLF and the police. He claimed asylum in Germany but his application was refused as it was considered that the risk of ill-treatment did not emanate from state actors. The Applicant then fled to the UK, who wanted to return him to Germany under the Dublin Convention. The Applicant claimed breaches of Articles 2, 3, 8 and 13 of the Convention because Germany would only take into account persecution at the hands of the State. The Court confirmed that Article 3 extends to cases where risk of inhuman treatment comes from non-State actors and that the UK was responsible for ensuring that the Applicant would not, as a result of removing him to Germany, face inhuman or degrading treatment. However, the Court declared the case inadmissible as it considered that Germany could afford adequate protection to the Applicant. 

D v UK (30240/96): The Applicant was incurably suffering from the advanced stages of AIDS and was facing removal to St Kitts where he would face destitution in the terminal stage of his illness. In the UK, he was reliant on palliative medical care and social support from a charity.  The Court found that his expulsion would violate Article 3 of the Convention as the conditions of destitution he would face at the terminal stages of his illness would amount to inhuman and degrading treatment.

Olaechea v Spain  (24668/03): The Applicant, a Peruvian national, was granted a Rule 39 interim measure by the Court  to prevent his extradition to Peru.  He was extradited to Peru in spite of the Rule 39 measure.  The Court found violation of Article 34 of the Convention as Spain had failed to comply with the interim measure even though he had been able to continue to pursue his case in Strasbourg after extradition.

Bensaid v UK (44599/98): The Applicant was suffering from a psychotic illness (schizophrenia) and was facing deportation to Algeria. He submitted that his proposed deportation would place him at real risk of a relapse in his illness, in breach of Article 3, and would have a severely damaging effect on his private life in the sense of his moral and physical integrity, in breach of Article 8. The Court did not hold that there is a sufficiently real risk that the Applicant's removal would be contrary to Article 3, nor did it find that his moral integrity would be affected to a degree falling within the scope of Article 8.  (The AIRE Centre assisted the representatives in this case).

NA  v UK  (25904/07): This case concerned the expulsion of a young Tamil to Sri Lanka. The Court ruled that he belonged to a group all of whose members were at risk of prohibited ill treatment and so could not be returned. He was not required to show that he was more at risk than other members of the group.  The Court stated that it did not rule out that situations could exist in which it would be unacceptable to return anyone to a situation of widespread human rights violations without the need to belong to a particular group.

K v the United Kingdom (29696/07): The AIRE Centre represented the Applicant, an Ethiopian national, who had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the UK.  Following our representations to the European Court of Human Rights, the UK authorities granted him refugee status in the UK and the case was then resolved by means of a friendly settlement.

FK v the United Kingdom: The AIRE Centre secured a friendly settlement in this case on behalf of the Applicant, who feared he would be exposed to absolutely prohibited ill treatment on return to Uzbekistan because of his religious beliefs.  The UK authorities granted the Applicant 5 years leave to remain.

Sufi v United Kingdom (8319/07): The AIRE Centre is representing an Applicant whose expulsion to Somalia would result his exposure to the kind of ill treatment which is absolutely prohibited by the Convention.  The case is currently pending judgment.

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Third Party Interventions

Chahal v UK (22414/93): The AIRE Centre submitted a third-party intervention in this case, which concerned the expulsion  to India of a Sikh separatist for national security reasons.  The Grand Chamber of the Court found that the Applicant's removal would violate Article 3.  The judgment in Chahal was the first time that the Court held that if there is a real risk that a person who faces deportation or extradition will face treatment contrary to Article 3 on return to that state (the absolute prohibition on torture and inhumane and degrading treatment), national security grounds cannot justify the removal of that person. The Court's ruling on the secret procedure of review which existed in the UK at the time led to the introduction of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission and the use of "Special Advocates".

Mamatkulov & Askarov v Turkey   (46827/99 ; 46951/99): The AIRE Centre and Human Rights Watch submitted a third party intervention in this case which concerned the extradition to Uzbekistan on charges of the attempted assassination of  the president.  The Applicants alleged that they would be tortured and not receive a fair trial. The Court applied interim measures under Rule 39 prohibiting the expulsion until the the case had been considered in Strasbourg.  The Grand Chamber ruled that interim measures were binding on States as forming an integral part of the exercise of the right of individual petition to the Court.

Ismoilov v Russian Federation (2947/06): The AIRE Centre and Human Rights Watch submitted a third party intervention on this case which concerned the extradition to Uzbekistan  of individuals who alleged that they were at risk of torture and an unfair trial.  The Court ruled that the diplomatic assurances were inadequate safeguards against ill treatment when offered by a state with a record of serious systemic human rights violations. The Court also ruled for the first time that Article 6 (right to a fair trial) could in some cases apply to extradition proceedings as well as applying extra-territorially to the trial that would take place.

Ramzy v  Netherlands (25424/05);  A v Netherlands (4900/06): The AIRE Centre submitted a third party intervention in these cases which concerned the absolute nature of the prohibition on the expulsion to face torture in cases where the proposed expulsion was based on national security issues.

S.h.D and others v Greece (14165/16). The case relates to five undocumented children of Afghan nationality subject to detention and/or closed reception measures in Greece. The written submissions on behalf of the AIRE Centre, the European Council of Refugees (ECRE), and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) are available here.

H.A. and others v Greece (19951/16) The case relates to the detention of nine unaccompanied minors (aged between 15 and 18), from Syria, Iraq, and Morocco in Greek police stationsThe written submissions on behalf of the AIRE Centre, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the European Council of Refugees (ECRE), and the Dutch Council for Refugees are available here.


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