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CJEU delivers judgment on the Dublin III Regulation and discretionary decisions

DATE: 14 Mar 2017

The CJEU Fifth Chamber has delivered judgment in Case C-578/16 PPU CK. The case was an urgent preliminary reference from Slovenia concerning the application of the Dublin III Regulation on the allocation of responsibility for the handling and determination of claims for asylum and international protection in the EU. The Slovenian court referred a series of question about the use of the discretionary (or sovereignty) clause in Article 17 of the Regulation. The questions referred concerned the circumstances in which there might be an obligation on Member State authorities to exercise the discretionary clause to take responsibility for a claim, where the State in question was not otherwise responsible for handling it. It also raised the issue whether there was any directly effective right on an applicant under the Regulation to request that the clause be operated in his or her favour. The Court ruled that there was no obligation on Member States to exercise the discretionary clause and that an applicant had no right to request that it be operated in his favour. The Court also examined the extent to which arguments about fundamental rights could be raised in response to proposed transfers.

David Blundell represented the United Kingdom Government, who intervened in the case.