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Council of Europe
Country of Decision : Council of Europe
Court Name : CoE: European Court of Human Rights [ECHR]
Date of decision : 05/05/2020
Type : Decision
Case Number/Citation/ Document Symbol : No. 3599/18

M.N. and Others v Belgium

ECtHR rules on jurisdictional application of the Convention for Syrian nationals applying for humanitarian visas from Belgian Consulate in Lebanon

Accorinding to the Court's Press Release

In its decision in the case of M.N. and Others v. Belgium (application no. 3599/18), delivered by the Grand Chamber, the European Court of Human Rights has by a majority declared the application inadmissible. The case concerned a couple of Syrian nationals and their two children, who were refused the shortterm visas that they had requested from the Belgian Embassy in Beirut with a view to applying for asylum in Belgium.

The applicants claimed that there had been a breach of their rights under Articles 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment), 13 (right to an effective remedy) and 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Court reiterated that Article 1 (obligation to respect human rights) of the European Convention limited its scope to persons within the jurisdiction of the States Parties to the Convention. In the present case, it noted that the applicants were not within Belgium’s jurisdiction in respect of the circumstances complained of under Articles 3 and 13 of the Convention.

The Court also considered that Article 6 § 1 of the Convention was inapplicable in the present case. The entry to Belgian territory which would have resulted from the visas being issued did not engage a “civil” right within the meaning of Article 6 § 1. Lastly, the Court noted that this conclusion did not prejudice the endeavours being made by the States Parties to facilitate access to asylum procedures through their embassies and/or consular representations.

Access to procedures; Refugee Protection;

Dublin Regulation III (Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for IP); EU Charter of Fundamental Rights ; European Convention on Human Rights; Revised Asylum Procedures Directive (Directive 2013/32/EU on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection) and/or APD 2005/85/CE;


Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights [ECHR], M.N. and Others v Belgium, No. 3599/18, 05 May 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.