Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
ECtHR rules on push-backs by Spain at the Melilla/Morocco (referred to Grand Chamber)

Input Provided By
EUAA Asylum Report
Other Source/Information:
ECHR Information Note
Referral to the CJEU
Original Documents
Relevant Legislative Provisions
EU Charter of Fundamental Rights ; European Convention on Human Rights; Return Directive (Directive 2008/115/EC of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals); Revised Asylum Procedures Directive (Directive 2013/32/EU on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection) and/or APD 2005/85/CE;
Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights [ECtHR], N.D. and N.T. v Spain, 8675/15 and 8697/15, ECLI:CE:ECHR:2017:1003JUD000867515, 03 October 2017. Link redirects to the English summary in the EUAA Case Law Database.
Permanent link to the case
Case history
Related cases:

According the Court's Information Note : 

In August 2014 a group of about 80 sub-Saharan migrants, including the applicants, attempted to enter Spain by scaling the barriers surrounding the town of Melilla, a Spanish enclave on the North African coast. Having climbed the fences, they were arrested by members of the Guardia Civil, who handcuffed them and returned them to the other side of the border without conducting an identification procedure or providing an opportunity to explain their personal situation.

Orders for expulsion were subsequently issued against the applicants, who had succeeded in re-entering Spain illegally. Their administrative appeals, and the asylum application lodged by one of them, were dismissed.

By a judgment of 3 October 2017 (see Information Note 211), a Chamber of the Court:

  • dismissed the preliminary objections raised by the Government as to the jurisdiction of the respondent State, the applicants’ victim status and the exhaustion of domestic remedies;
  • concluded, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 4 of Protocol No. 4, in the absence of any examination of each of the applicants’ individual situations, and of Article 13 of the Convention taken together with the same Article.

On 29 January 2018 the case was referred to the Grand Chamber at the Government’s request.

Country of Decision
Council of Europe
Court Name
CoE: European Court of Human Rights [ECtHR]
Case Number
8675/15 and 8697/15
Date of Decision
Country of Origin
Access to procedures
Border procedures