Communication: judgment No. 0349 of 2020

IDENTIFIER
62020CA0349
LANGUAGE
English
COURT
Court of Justice of the European Union
AG OPINION
NO
REFERENCES MADE
2
REFERENCED
1
DOCUMENT TYPE
Communication: judgment

Judgment



25.4.2022   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 171/9


Judgment of the Court (Third Chamber) of 3 March 2022 (request for a preliminary ruling from the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) — United Kingdom) — NB, AB v Secretary of State for the Home Department

(Case C-349/20) (1)

(Reference for a preliminary ruling - Common policy on asylum and immigration - Standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection - Directive 2004/83/EU - Article 12 - Exclusion from being a refugee - Stateless person of Palestinian origin registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) (UNRWA) - Conditions to be entitled ipso facto to the benefits of Directive 2004/83/EC - Cessation of UNRWA’s protection or assistance)

(2022/C 171/11)

Language of the case: English

Referring court

First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicants: NB, AB

Defendant: Secretary of State for the Home Department

Intervening party: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UK)

Operative part of the judgment

1.

The second sentence of Article 12(1)(a) of Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted must be interpreted as meaning that, in order to assess whether the protection or assistance from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) (UNRWA) has ceased, so that a person may claim ipso facto ‘refugee status’ for the purposes of that provision, account must be taken, in the context of an assessment carried out on an individual basis, of the relevant circumstances as they exist not only at the time of that person’s departure from the UNRWA area of operations, but also at the time when the competent administrative authorities consider an application for refugee status or the judicial authorities concerned rule on the appeal against a decision refusing to grant such status.

2.

The second sentence of Article 12(1)(a) of Directive 2004/83 must be interpreted as meaning that, in the context of the analysis of whether the protection or assistance from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) (UNRWA) has ceased, so that a person may claim ipso facto ‘refugee status’ for the purposes of that provision, where the person concerned establishes that he or she has been forced to leave the UNRWA area of operations for reasons beyond his or her control and independent of his or her volition, it is for the Member State, if it considers that the person is now in a position to return to that area and receive that protection or assistance there, to establish that that is the case.

3.

The second sentence of Article 12(1)(a) of Directive 2004/83 must be interpreted as meaning that, in order to determine whether the protection or assistance from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) (UNRWA) has ceased, within the meaning of that provision, so that a person who has applied for international protection has been forced to leave that body’s area of operations, it is not necessary to establish that UNRWA or the State in whose territory it operates intended to inflict harm on that person or to deprive him or her of assistance, by act or omission. For the purposes of that provision, it is sufficient to establish that UNRWA’s assistance or protection has in fact ceased for any reason, so that that body is no longer in a position, for objective reasons or reasons relating to the person’s individual situation, to guarantee him or her living conditions commensurate with its mission.

4.

The second sentence of Article 12(1)(a) of Directive 2004/83, read in conjunction with Article 1(D) of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, signed in Geneva on 28 July 1951, must be interpreted as meaning that, in the context of the assessment of the conditions required to determine whether the protection or assistance from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) (UNRWA) has ceased, so that a person may claim ipso facto ‘refugee status’ for the purposes of that provision of Directive 2004/83, account must be taken of the assistance provided to that person by civil society actors, such as non-governmental organisations, provided that UNRWA has a formal relationship of cooperation with them, of a stable nature, in which they assist UNRWA in carrying out its mandate.


(1)  OJ C 62, 22.2.2021.



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