European Court of Justice, Dublin System, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment
In the C.K. et al. v. Republika Slovenija ruling (judgment of 16 February 2017, case C-578/16 PPU), the Court of Justice ruled that the transfer of the asylum seeker should be suspended if the particular medical condition of the applicant is so serious as to provide substantial grounds for believing that the transfer would result in a real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment, within the meaning of Art. 4 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. The Court thus qualifies its prior case law, ruling that not only risks stemming from systemic flaws but also circumstances affecting the individual situation of an asylum seeker can preclude the transfer under the Dublin system, in exceptional circumstances. After outlining the Court’s reasoning, this contribution argues that this judgment changes the Court’s approach to derogations under the Dublin system in a positive yet limited way; and that its case law on mutual trust as well as its approach to the case law of the European Court of Human Rights on the matter largely seems to remain unaffected.