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DE: High Court rules on 'volatile' concept under Dublin Regulation in relation to church asylum

Input Provided By
EUAA Courts and Tribunals Network
Original Documents
Relevant Legislative Provisions
Dublin Regulation III (Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for IP)
Germany, Higher Administrative Courts (Oberverwaltungsgerichte/Verwaltungsgerichtshöfe), Applicant v Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany), 10 LA 155/19, ECLI:DE:OVGNI:2019:0725.10LA155.19.00, 25 July 2019. Link redirects to the English summary in the EUAA Case Law Database.
Permanent link to the case
Case history
Other information

The case concerns the applicability of art. 29 par 2 Dublin Regulation in the case of church asylum (German churches grant protection to refugees facing difficult situations, called "hardship cases." They then present a request to BAMF for further examination. The main aim is to prevent imminent deportations of refugees into dangerous situations. Read here)

The defendant raised the following question to justify this reason for admission: "Whether an asylum seeker who is in the Dublin procedure and who goes to the church asylum is to be regarded as volatile within the meaning of Art. 29 Para. 2 Sentence 2 Dublin III-VO and the transfer period is thus extended to 18 months?"

The Court followed the CJEU C-136/17 and concluded that the question raised by the defendant can easily be answered to the effect that an asylum seeker who has gone to church asylum is not volatile within the meaning of Art. 29 Para. 2 Sentence 2 Dublin III-VO if his summonable address is known and the church asylum does not prevent the transfer from being carried out in legal or factual terms.

It would also seriously contradict the meaning and purpose of the Dublin regulations if the extension of the transfer period under Art. 29 Para. 2 Sentence 2 of the Dublin III Regulation would already occur if a Member State only waived the transfer because: an asylum seeker has left his home with an intention to flee, but the transfer is still possible due to the lack of obstacles to enforcement. Contrary to the defendant's view, the mere fact that the asylum seeker went to the church asylum with the intention of avoiding the transfer cannot be sufficient to assume that he was fleeting within the meaning of Art. 29 para. 2 sentence 2 of the Dublin III Regulation.

Country of Decision
Court Name
DE: Higher Administrative Courts (Oberverwaltungsgerichte/Verwaltungsgerichtshöfe)
Case Number
10 LA 155/19
Date of Decision
Country of Origin
Dublin procedure
Other Source/Information
DW on church asylum