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ECHR rules on detention of family pending expulsion

Input Provided By
Other Source/Information:
ECHR Press Release
Referral to the CJEU
Original Documents
Relevant Legislative Provisions
European Convention on Human Rights; Revised Qualification Directive (Directive 2011/95/EU on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as BIP for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection- recast)/or QD 2004/83/EC;
Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights [ECtHR], Bilalova and Others v Poland, Application no. 23685/14, ECLI:CE:ECHR:2020:0326JUD002368514, 26 March 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EUAA Case Law Database.
Permanent link to the case
Case history
Related cases:

According to the Court's Press Release:

The applicants are Ms Dagmara Bilalova, who was born in 1982, and her five children, between three and nine years old. They are currently living in Kurchaloi in the Chechen Republic (Russia). The case concerned the placement and retention of Ms Dagmara and her five children in a closed centre for aliens pending the outcome of their application for refugee status. In June 2013 Ms Bilalova’s husband lodged with the Aliens’ Office an application for refugee status for the whole family, who were in Polish territory at the time. The family then left for Germany, without awaiting the outcome of their request. In November 2013 the applicants were handed over to the Polish authorities by their German counterparts, in accordance with the provisions of the Dublin III Regulation. The next day, during a hearing attended by Ms Bilalova, with the assistance of an interpreter, the District Court ordered the applicants’ detention in a closed centre for aliens, for an initial period of 60 days, which was subsequently extended. The applicant unsuccessfully contested the decision to continue the family’s detention in the closed centre. In January 2014 the Aliens’ Office dismissed the request for refugee status, refused to grant the family subsidiary protection and ordered their expulsion. In March 2014 the applicant submitted a fresh application for refugee status, pleading domestic violence. That application too was dismissed. Subsequently the applicants were expelled. Relying in particular on Article 5 § 1 (f) (right to liberty and security), the applicants complained about their placement and retention in the closed centre for aliens, alleging, inter alia, that they were illegal. Violation of Article 5 § 1 f) – in respect of the applicant children, concerning their retention in the closed centre

Country of Decision
Council of Europe
Court Name
CoE: European Court of Human Rights [ECtHR]
Case Number
Application no. 23685/14
Date of Decision
Country of Origin
Detention/ Alternatives to Detention
Unaccompanied minors