Study from five Eastern European countries highlights shortcomings in the implementation of judicial decisions in the field of asylum and migration

In the course 2022, the OPU participated in a research project coordinated by the Hungarian Helsinki
Committee on the implementation of judicial decisions in the field of asylum and migration. Together
with colleagues from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, we identified the strategies employed
by authorities in Central and Eastern Europe to circumvent their obligations under European and
domestic court decisions. These range from blatant non-implementation, to the adoption of new
legislation that circumvents previous court decisions, to implementation in a particular case without
following the judgment’s general principles in other similar case. The research reveals problematic
trends in all of the research countries, but also points to positive examples of good practice.
In the case of Czechia, although the domestic authorities refused to implement the CJEU decision on
mandatory relocations, they have implemented all of the leading ECtHR judgements in the area of
asylum and migration to date. Accordingly, it is the major systemic changes required by domestic
jurisprudence which remain particularly unimplemented in the Czech case. Czech authorities
continue circumventing domestic case law, particularly in the area of rights of stateless persons,
immigration detention and identification of unaccompanied minors.
With our colleagues we note that the disregard of court decisions is a warning signal that goes
beyond the field of asylum and migration. It opens up wider questions of the rule of law and effective
judicial oversight, as the enforcement of national and international judgements is one of the
cornerstones of a democratic society governed by the rule of law.
The study is available here.