Article 12(1)(a) of the Qualification Directive, which provides for an exclusion ground from refugee status where the applicant benefits from protection or assistance from, inter alia, UNRWA, constitutes a lex specialis, and therefore requires an assessment of whether the applicant receives such assistance or protection. In addition, a person registered with UNRWA who receives effective protection or assistance from that agency in a third country which is not the territory of her habitual residence but which forms part of the area of operations of that agency must be considered as enjoying sufficient protection in that third country in accordance with Article 35 of the Asylum Procedures Directive and therefore may not obtain asylum in the EU. The Court lays down the conditions under which the applicant may be considered as enjoying sufficient protection in that third country.
The three appellants are a Stateless man with Palestinian origins, born in Kuwait, who moved to Bulgaria, and his two children born in and holding Bulgarian nationality. The first applicant's permanent residence permit was withdrawn because of engagement in alleged religious extremism, and he was detained and subsequently deported to Syria. The Court held that there had been a violation of Article 5 § 4, 8, and 13 as a result of the deportation.
The case concerns the appeal by the stateless person from Kuwait, Mr. Sager Al-Anezi, against the decision of the asylum authorities in Bulgaria to reject his application for international protection as manifestly unfounded under a fast-track procedure carried out while Mr.Al-Anezi was placed in detention for removal. By a final judgment, the Sofia City Administrative Court allowed the appeal of Mr. Al-Anezi. The court judgment contains inter alia detailed analysis on the significance of the right to nationality as a fundamental human right; the application of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees to stateless persons and the situation of Bidoon in Kuwait.
The case originated in an application against the Republic of Bulgaria lodged by a stateless person of Palestinian origin, Mr Ahmed Jamal Auad, on 13 August 2010. He had obtained subsidiary international protection in Bulgaria, but later was served an expulsion order on national security grounds, detained for removal for 18 months and then released back in Bulgaria due to impossibility to implement the expulsion order. The judgment of the Court is particularly important with regard to the obligation of States to identify a destination country in removal orders: "In cases of aliens detained with a view to deportation, lack of clarity as to the destination country could hamper effective control of the authorities’ diligence in handling the deportation." (para.133).
The judgment concerns a reference for a preliminary ruling regarding the interpretation of Article 15(4) to (6) of Directive 2008/115/EC. The applicant in the main proceedings before the Sofia City Administrative Court in Bulgaria, Mr. Said Kadzoev, is a stateless person of Chechen origin. The reference for a preliminary ruling concerned the interaction between detention under asylum law and removal detention and the question whether the former counts within the 18-months maximum period of removal detention under Article 15 (6) of Directive 2008/115. The Court gave clear guidance as to the differentiation between the two types of administrative detention and the different purposes that they serve. The Court also interpreted the concept of a (lack of) reasonable prospect of removal within the meaning of Article 15 (4) of Directive 2008/115, which is of particular relevance in cases of detention of stateless persons.