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The Principle of Non-Refoulement in Swedish Migration Law

Järvegren, Ida LU (2011) JURM01 20111
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Syftet med denna uppsats är att undersöka om Sverige har uppfyllt sina internationella åtaganden gällande efterlevnaden av principen om non-refoulement i svensk migrationsrätt. I generella termer innebär principen om non-refoulement ett verkställighetshinder mot avvisning och utvisning då personen i fråga riskerar att utsättas för tortyr och förföljelse i det mottagande landet. Denna princip kommer bland annat till uttryck i tre konventioner (Flyktingkonventionen, Tortyrkonventionen och Europakonventionen), vilka utgör grunden för den svenska nationella regleringen. Sedan antagandet av Amsterdamfördraget utgör migrations- och asylrätten även en del av den Europeiska Unionens kompetens och den Europeiska Unionen har till exempel frambringat... (More)
Syftet med denna uppsats är att undersöka om Sverige har uppfyllt sina internationella åtaganden gällande efterlevnaden av principen om non-refoulement i svensk migrationsrätt. I generella termer innebär principen om non-refoulement ett verkställighetshinder mot avvisning och utvisning då personen i fråga riskerar att utsättas för tortyr och förföljelse i det mottagande landet. Denna princip kommer bland annat till uttryck i tre konventioner (Flyktingkonventionen, Tortyrkonventionen och Europakonventionen), vilka utgör grunden för den svenska nationella regleringen. Sedan antagandet av Amsterdamfördraget utgör migrations- och asylrätten även en del av den Europeiska Unionens kompetens och den Europeiska Unionen har till exempel frambringat Skyddsgrundsdirektivet. När detta direktiv inkorporerades i svensk lagstiftning ansåg lagstiftaren att innehållet i flera artiklar i direktivet redan finns i svensk rätt och att det därför inte fanns ett behov av författningsändring.

I min analys av den internationella granskningen av Sverige som utförts av Europadomstolen och Tortyrkommittén identifierar jag dock flera avvikelser mellan den internationella rätten och den svenska rätten. De identifierade skillnaderna inkluderar bland annat avsaknaden av ett effektivt rättsmedel i ärenden som väcker nationella säkerhetsintressen och att Sverige tillämpar ett beviskrav som är för krävande för den sökande. Den senare bristen hänförs mer specifikt till bedömningen av tidigare erfarenhet av tortyr och förföljelse, trovärdighetsbedömningen av den sökande samt statens utredningsskyldighet. Min utvärdering av de identifierade bristerna och de lagreformer som har antagits under de senaste åren antyder att vissa problem har åtgärdats men att det fortfarande finns utrymme för förbättring och klargörande, framförallt vad gäller beviskravet. Denna ofullkomlighet kan dock förbättras om de relevanta artiklarna anses besitta direkt effekt enligt EU-rätten.

Denna uppsats presenterar möjliga åtgärder som Sverige kan vidta i syfte att förbättra förenligheten med Europadomstolens och Tortyrkommitténs praxis. Dessa reformförslag innebär en inkorporering av artiklarna 4.4 och 4.5 i Skyddsgrundsdirektivet som medel för att klargöra, och eventuellt sänka, det beviskrav som tillämpas inom svensk migrationsrätt. Den första framlagda lösningen innebär en presumtion för en risk för tortyr och förföljelse i fall då den sökande tidigare har blivit utsatt för tortyr eller förföljelse. Det andra förslaget behandlar beviskravet i fall då bevismedel är bristande och innebär att beviskravet kan sänkas enligt principen om tvivelsmålets fördel. (Less)
Abstract
The purpose of this thesis is to assess whether Sweden has fulfilled its obligation to implement the principle of non-refoulement in Swedish migration law. The principle of non-refoulement, in general terms, implies an impediment for execution that obliges a state not to permit removal of a person to a county where he or she is at risk of being subjected to torture or persecution. This principle is inter alia found in three conventions (the Refugee Convention, the Convention against Torture and the European Convention on Human Rights), which affect the Swedish domestic legislation. In addition, migration and asylum law is part of European Union Law since the adoption of the Treaty of Amsterdam and the European Union, for instance, has... (More)
The purpose of this thesis is to assess whether Sweden has fulfilled its obligation to implement the principle of non-refoulement in Swedish migration law. The principle of non-refoulement, in general terms, implies an impediment for execution that obliges a state not to permit removal of a person to a county where he or she is at risk of being subjected to torture or persecution. This principle is inter alia found in three conventions (the Refugee Convention, the Convention against Torture and the European Convention on Human Rights), which affect the Swedish domestic legislation. In addition, migration and asylum law is part of European Union Law since the adoption of the Treaty of Amsterdam and the European Union, for instance, has produced the Asylum Qualification Directive. When this directive was implemented, the Swedish legislator found that some of the articles of the directive did not necessitate legal reform since they were already part of Swedish law.

My analysis of the international review of Sweden performed by the European Court of Human Rights and the Committee against Torture, however, identifies several inconsistencies between the international regulation and the Swedish law and practice. The identified discrepancies involved the lack of an effective remedy in the special procedure, which was applicable in migration cases that raised national security concerns, and the fact that Sweden applied a standard of proof in the assessment of a personal risk of mistreatment that was too demanding for the applicant. The latter more specifically concerned aspects such as the assessment of previous experience of torture and persecution, the credibility of the applicant and the state’s duty to investigate. My investigation of the relevant legal reform that has been adopted during the last decade on these problematical aspects indicates that the discrepancy has been amended to some extent, yet that there still is room for further progress and clarification. The deficiency may, however, be amended if the provisions in the directive possess direct effect under European Union law.

This thesis suggests potential measures that Sweden can take in order to improve the compatibility with the case law established by the European Court of Human Rights and the Committee against Torture. These reform proposals involve an inclusion of Articles 4.4 and 4.5 of the Asylum Qualification Directive as means of clarifying, and potentially lowering, the standard of proof in the Swedish assessment in migration cases. The first proposal involves a presumption of a risk of torture or persecution in the future if an applicant has been subjected to torture or persecution in the past. The second suggestion attends to the general standard of proof when documentary or other evidence are lacking and implies that the standard of proof can be lowered by giving the applicant the benefit of the doubt. (Less)
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author
Järvegren, Ida LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Principen om Non-Refoulement i Svensk Migrationsrätt
course
JURM01 20111
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
International Human Rights Law, Migration Law
language
English
id
1971928
date added to LUP
2011-06-01 12:06:41
date last changed
2011-06-01 12:06:41
@misc{1971928,
  abstract     = {The purpose of this thesis is to assess whether Sweden has fulfilled its obligation to implement the principle of non-refoulement in Swedish migration law. The principle of non-refoulement, in general terms, implies an impediment for execution that obliges a state not to permit removal of a person to a county where he or she is at risk of being subjected to torture or persecution. This principle is inter alia found in three conventions (the Refugee Convention, the Convention against Torture and the European Convention on Human Rights), which affect the Swedish domestic legislation. In addition, migration and asylum law is part of European Union Law since the adoption of the Treaty of Amsterdam and the European Union, for instance, has produced the Asylum Qualification Directive. When this directive was implemented, the Swedish legislator found that some of the articles of the directive did not necessitate legal reform since they were already part of Swedish law. 

My analysis of the international review of Sweden performed by the European Court of Human Rights and the Committee against Torture, however, identifies several inconsistencies between the international regulation and the Swedish law and practice. The identified discrepancies involved the lack of an effective remedy in the special procedure, which was applicable in migration cases that raised national security concerns, and the fact that Sweden applied a standard of proof in the assessment of a personal risk of mistreatment that was too demanding for the applicant. The latter more specifically concerned aspects such as the assessment of previous experience of torture and persecution, the credibility of the applicant and the state’s duty to investigate. My investigation of the relevant legal reform that has been adopted during the last decade on these problematical aspects indicates that the discrepancy has been amended to some extent, yet that there still is room for further progress and clarification. The deficiency may, however, be amended if the provisions in the directive possess direct effect under European Union law. 

This thesis suggests potential measures that Sweden can take in order to improve the compatibility with the case law established by the European Court of Human Rights and the Committee against Torture. These reform proposals involve an inclusion of Articles 4.4 and 4.5 of the Asylum Qualification Directive as means of clarifying, and potentially lowering, the standard of proof in the Swedish assessment in migration cases. The first proposal involves a presumption of a risk of torture or persecution in the future if an applicant has been subjected to torture or persecution in the past. The second suggestion attends to the general standard of proof when documentary or other evidence are lacking and implies that the standard of proof can be lowered by giving the applicant the benefit of the doubt.},
  author       = {Järvegren, Ida},
  keyword      = {International Human Rights Law,Migration Law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Principle of Non-Refoulement in Swedish Migration Law},
  year         = {2011},
}