Melanie Plimmer of Kings Chambers has represented the appellant in EM (Eritrea) and others v The Secretary of State for the Home Department, in which the Supreme Court addressed the appropriate test when determining whether it would be a breach of article 3 to remove an asylum seeker or refugee to a member state of the EU.
The Supreme Court held that the Court of Appeal was wrong to consider that only a systemic breach by the receiving member state of its human rights obligations would justify not returning an asylum seeker to that country.
Where it can be shown that the conditions in which an asylum seeker will be required to live are such that there is a real risk that he or she will be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment, his or her removal to that state is forbidden. In the circumstances, the Supreme Court remitted the appellants’ cases to the Administrative Court.
The Supreme Court also highlighted that the EU requires its laws to be interpreted in accordance with fundamental rights, such as those guaranteed by the European Court of Human Rights and the EU scheme of asylum law in general is to be applied in a way that respects the dignity of asylum seekers and ensures a basic minimum standard of support.
Melanie Plimmer represented one of the appellants, MA, together with Monica Carrs-Frisk QC and Raza Hussain QC, instructed by Switalskis Solicitors.