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ECHR rules on expulsion to Iraq of an Iraqi national on account of his conviction for smuggling migrants

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Other Source/Information:
Press Release
Referral to the CJEU
Original Documents
Relevant Legislative Provisions
European Convention on Human Rights;
Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights [ECtHR], D. and others v Romania, 75953/16 , ECLI:CE:ECHR:2020:0114JUD007595316 , 14 January 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EUAA Case Law Database.
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Case history
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The case concerned an order for the expulsion to Iraq of an Iraqi national following his conviction in Romania for having facilitated the entry to Romania of persons involved in terrorist activities (a migrant smuggling offence).

According the Court's Press release, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously:

- that there would not be a violation of Article 2 (right to life) and 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights if the order to expel the applicant to Iraq were implemented;

- that there had been a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the Convention, taken together with Articles 2 and 3. The Court held that the general evidence submitted by D was accompanied by very little information about his individual circumstances and failed to demonstrate in practical terms that there was a direct link between his conviction in Romania and the likelihood of his being subjected in Iraq to treatment contrary to Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention. The actions for which D had been convicted in Romania had not taken place in Iraqi territory and had no direct link with terrorism. There were therefore no serious or proven grounds to believe that if he were returned to Iraq, D would run a real risk of being subjected to treatment in breach of Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention.

The Court noted that the remedies available to the applicant to challenge the expulsion order did not have suspensive effect, which was incompatible with the Court’s case-law in respect of Article 13. The Court considered that the complaints under Articles 6 (right to a fair hearing) and 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the Convention were manifestly ill-founded. The Court decided to continue to indicate to the Government (Rule 39 of the Rules of Court) not to send D back to Iraq until such time as the judgment became final or the Court gave another ruling on the subject.

Country of Decision
Council of Europe
Court Name
CoE: European Court of Human Rights [ECtHR]
Case Number
Date of Decision
Country of Origin
Country of Origin Information
Effective remedy
EUAA Country Guidance Materials