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ECtHR rules on legality of detention for minors asylum applicants placed in temporary holding facility in Ukraine

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Other Source/Information:
Referral to the CJEU
Original Documents
Relevant Legislative Provisions
European Convention on Human Rights;
Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights [ECtHR], Nur and Others v Ukraine, Application no. 77647/11, ECLI:CE:ECHR:2020:0716JUD007764711, 16 July 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EUAA Case Law Database.
Permanent link to the case
Case history
Related cases:

The case concerns complaints regarding Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, regarding the arrest and detention of two minor applicants after attempting to cross the Ukrainian border with Hungary and Slovakia. The judgment concerns only the second and eighth applicants, nationals of Somalia and Guinea, as the representatives of the rest of the applicants lost contact with their clients.

The applicants were arrested in November 2011 by Ukrainian border guards and because they were unable to present identity documents, they were placed in the temporary holding facility in Chop. One of the applicants was pregnant and miscarried while being held in the temporary holding facility. Age assessments were carried out and it was determined that the second applicant was nineteen to twenty years old while the eighth was eighteen to nineteen years old. However, the eighth applicant later proved with her birth certificate to be a minor. Both applicants were granted subsidiary protection as they would run a real risk of ill-treatment if returned to their countries of origin.

Both applicants complained about the lawfulness of their detention in the temporary holding facility and about not having access to a procedure to challenge the decisions. The Court found that the applicant had been held in the temporary holding facility for longer than the 10 days allowed by domestic law. It found that detention had been illegal for the second applicant from 13 to 17 November 2011 and for the eighth applicant from 27 November to 28 December 2011, and from 11 April to 8 October 2012.

In addition, under Article 5 (4) of the ECHR, the Court held that the applicants did not have at their disposal a procedure to examine speedily the lawfulness of their detention.

The eighth applicant also complained under Article 3 of the ECHR about the detention conditions (minor held with adults) and about the alleged lack of medical and psychological assistance. This complaint was rejected as manifestly ill-founded.

Country of Decision
Council of Europe
Court Name
CoE: European Court of Human Rights [ECtHR]
Case Number
Application no. 77647/11
Date of Decision
Country of Origin
Age assessment
Detention/ Alternatives to Detention
Effective remedy
Minor / Best interests of the child