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Locked in Limbo: Administrative Detention of Asylum Seekers in Sweden and the Diverging Perspectives of the Strasbourg Court and the Human Rights Committee

Bahmanyar, Aylin LU (2019) JAMM07 20191
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract
Due to the large influx of persons seeking refuge within European states in recent years, measures which control the entry, residence and expulsion of aliens have increased both in use and intensity. An example of such a measure is the detention of asylum seekers for administrative reasons. The purpose of this paper was therefore to focus on the Swedish practice concerning the administrative detention of asylum seekers with a view to deportation. In conducting an assessment of Swedish domestic law, case-law and institutional practice, it was concluded that administrative detention is resorted to routinely with the ambiguous reasoning that there is a risk that the alien absconds or keeps in hiding. Reasoning specific to the individual cases... (More)
Due to the large influx of persons seeking refuge within European states in recent years, measures which control the entry, residence and expulsion of aliens have increased both in use and intensity. An example of such a measure is the detention of asylum seekers for administrative reasons. The purpose of this paper was therefore to focus on the Swedish practice concerning the administrative detention of asylum seekers with a view to deportation. In conducting an assessment of Swedish domestic law, case-law and institutional practice, it was concluded that administrative detention is resorted to routinely with the ambiguous reasoning that there is a risk that the alien absconds or keeps in hiding. Reasoning specific to the individual cases or reasons why alternative non-custodial measures are not sufficient are largely absent. Choosing to focus on two bodies to which Sweden has human rights obligations – ECHR and ICCPR – the following discussion concerned how the Strasbourg Court and the Human Rights Committee interpret the issue of the limitation on the right to liberty of asylum seekers. There, it was concluded that while the Committee insists upon a stringent application of the necessity and proportionality tests to each individual case, the Strasbourg Court prioritises the right of sovereign states to control the entry, residence and expulsion of aliens within their borders. These divergent perspectives and inconsistency in interpretations lead to confusion regarding the level of protection that should be provided to asylum seekers concerning administrative detention. Thus, two theories from two scholars were chosen to theorize upon the findings of the paper: 1) the possibility to provide Courts with an alternative approach through strategic argumentation which they could embark upon in their judgments, and 2) the possibility of resorting to political progress when credible legal argumentation is no longer a viable solution. (Less)
Popular Abstract (Swedish)
Med anledning av den stora vågen av flyktingar som under de senaste åren har sökt skydd inom Europas gränser, har åtgärder implementerats för att kontrollera deras inresa, vistelse, samt utvisning. Användandet av sådana åtgärder, så som förvarstagande, har både ökat och intensifierats i dess användning. Syftet med denna uppsats var därför att fokusera på den svenska praxisen angående verkställighetsförvar. Efter att ha bedömt den svenska gällanderätten, rättspraxis samt myndighetspraxis, drogs slutsatsen att verkställighetsförvar används rutinmässigt med det problematiska resonemanget att det finns risk för avvikelse eller att utlänningen håller sig undan. En sammantagen bedömning förekommer väldigt sällan, samtidigt som alternativa... (More)
Med anledning av den stora vågen av flyktingar som under de senaste åren har sökt skydd inom Europas gränser, har åtgärder implementerats för att kontrollera deras inresa, vistelse, samt utvisning. Användandet av sådana åtgärder, så som förvarstagande, har både ökat och intensifierats i dess användning. Syftet med denna uppsats var därför att fokusera på den svenska praxisen angående verkställighetsförvar. Efter att ha bedömt den svenska gällanderätten, rättspraxis samt myndighetspraxis, drogs slutsatsen att verkställighetsförvar används rutinmässigt med det problematiska resonemanget att det finns risk för avvikelse eller att utlänningen håller sig undan. En sammantagen bedömning förekommer väldigt sällan, samtidigt som alternativa metoder till förvar, så som till exempel uppsikt eller överlämnande av identitetshandling inte undersökes som en möjlighet. Uppsatsen fokuserar på EKMR samt ICCPR då Sverige har människorättsliga förpliktelser gentemot båda – vidare utforskas Strasbourgdomstolens samt Människorättskommitténs tolkning av rätten till frihet för asylsökande inom ramen för verkställighetsförvar. Sammanfattningsvis existerar två avvikande tolkningar gällande rätten till frihet för asylsökande inom ramen för verkställighetsförvar. Dels insisterar Människorättskommittén på tillämpningen av nödvändighets- samt proportionalitetstest i varje enskilt fall; till skillnad från Strasbourgdomstolen som prioriterar statens rätt att ha handlingsutrymme i frågan i och med den så kallade ”margin of appreciation”. Dessa två avvikande tolkningar leder till förvirring när det gäller den skyddsnivå som bör ges till asylsökande. Således valdes två teorier av två forskare med syftet att teoretisera uppsatsens resultat: 1) Möjligheten att förse domstolarna med ett alternativt tillvägagångssätt genom strategisk argumentation som de istället skulle kunna använda i sina domar, samt 2) möjligheten att använda sig av politiska strategier när god juridisk argumentation inte längre är ett lönsamt tillvägagångssätt. (Less)
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@misc{8991144,
  abstract     = {Due to the large influx of persons seeking refuge within European states in recent years, measures which control the entry, residence and expulsion of aliens have increased both in use and intensity. An example of such a measure is the detention of asylum seekers for administrative reasons. The purpose of this paper was therefore to focus on the Swedish practice concerning the administrative detention of asylum seekers with a view to deportation. In conducting an assessment of Swedish domestic law, case-law and institutional practice, it was concluded that administrative detention is resorted to routinely with the ambiguous reasoning that there is a risk that the alien absconds or keeps in hiding. Reasoning specific to the individual cases or reasons why alternative non-custodial measures are not sufficient are largely absent. Choosing to focus on two bodies to which Sweden has human rights obligations – ECHR and ICCPR – the following discussion concerned how the Strasbourg Court and the Human Rights Committee interpret the issue of the limitation on the right to liberty of asylum seekers. There, it was concluded that while the Committee insists upon a stringent application of the necessity and proportionality tests to each individual case, the Strasbourg Court prioritises the right of sovereign states to control the entry, residence and expulsion of aliens within their borders. These divergent perspectives and inconsistency in interpretations lead to confusion regarding the level of protection that should be provided to asylum seekers concerning administrative detention. Thus, two theories from two scholars were chosen to theorize upon the findings of the paper: 1) the possibility to provide Courts with an alternative approach through strategic argumentation which they could embark upon in their judgments, and 2) the possibility of resorting to political progress when credible legal argumentation is no longer a viable solution.},
  author       = {Bahmanyar, Aylin},
  keyword      = {Administrative Detention,Asylum seekers,Deportation,Human Rights,European Convention on Human Rights,International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Mänskliga rättigheter,Verkställighetsförvar,Förvarstagande av Asylsökande,EKMR,Utlänningslagen,Människorättskommittén},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Locked in Limbo: Administrative Detention of Asylum Seekers in Sweden and the Diverging Perspectives of the Strasbourg Court and the Human Rights Committee},
  year         = {2019},
}