Council of State hears plaintiffs’ request to examine legality of asylum committees

A section of the Council of State heard on Tuesday the appeals of the Greek Council for Refugees, a lawyers group for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants and a Syrian national, whose asylum application has been rejected and is expected to return to Turkey.

All plaintiffs are asking that the Court finds all ministerial decisions setting up independent asylum committees and their staffing unconstitutional and illegal. According to their appeal, the Constitution doesn’t allow the participation of active judges the independent asylum appeal committees, noting their selection was made by the general state commissioner of administrative courts and not by lottery or by the Supreme Judicial Council, as required by law.

On his side, the Syrian national said Turkey is not a safe country for him or his fellow countrymen to return to, saying he has been mistreated there in the past. The CoS was also asked to send a relevant question to Court of Justice of the European Union so that it can rule before the Greek court on these issues.

The lawyers representing the State said the relevant ministerial decisions and law aim at protecting asylum seekers and therefore the two bodies have to legal interest in appealing to Court. They also said the asylum appeal committees fully adhere to the constitution and that Turkey is a safe country as it accommodates 2.7 million
Syrians in camps.

The court will decide on the appeal in the coming days.