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CASE OF N.D. AND N.T. v. SPAIN (Applications nos. 8675/15 and 8697/15) (Grand Chamber)

The case concerned the immediate return to Morocco of two nationals of Mali and Côte d’Ivoire who on 13 August 2014 attempted to enter Spanish territory in an unauthorised manner by climbing the fences surrounding the Spanish enclave of Melilla on the North African coast. The Court considered that the applicants had in fact placed themselves in an unlawful situation when they had deliberately attempted to enter Spain on 13 August 2014 by crossing the Melilla border protection structures as part of a large group and at an unauthorised location, taking advantage of the group’s large numbers and using force. They had thus chosen not to use the legal procedures which existed in order to enter Spanish territory lawfully. Consequently, the Court considered that the lack of individual removal decisions could be attributed to the fact that the applicants – assuming that they had wished to assert rights under the Convention – had not made use of the official entry procedures existing for that purpose, and that it had thus been a consequence of their own conduct. In so far as it had found that the lack of an individualised procedure for their removal had been the consequence of the applicants’ own conduct, the Court could not hold the respondent State responsible for the lack of a legal remedy in Melilla enabling them to challenge that removal.

13 February 2020 | Judicial Body: Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights | Document type: Case Law | Legal Instrument: 1950 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) | Topic(s): Effective remedy - Expulsion - Non-refoulement - Rejection at border | Countries: Côte d'Ivoire - Mali - Morocco - Spain

UNHCR's oral intervention before the European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber hearing in the case of N.D. and N.T. v. Spain (Application Nos. 8675/15 and 8697/15)

26 September 2018 | Publisher: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) | Document type: Court Interventions / Amicus Curiae

Supplementary observations by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the case of N.D. and N.T. v Spain before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights

5 April 2018 | Publisher: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) | Document type: Court Interventions / Amicus Curiae

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