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Is the priority treatment of migrants in deportation centers meant to deprive them of their rights?

We received the first responses to our requests for access to public information. We encourage you to read the response of the Council for Refugees regarding the possibility of active participation of the parties in the administrative proceedings.

Our intention was to determine what is the waiting time for presenting an opinion of a Party on the collected evidence before issuing a decision in the case by the Council.

In accordance with the principle of hearing the parties under Art. 10 of the Code of Administrative Procedure, public administration bodies are obliged to provide the parties with possibility of active participation in every stage of the proceedings, and before issuing the decision, enable them to comment on the collected evidence and materials and to submit requests.

The Council indicated that it does not issue a decision before the expiry of a reasonable period of waiting for a reply, each appeal is considered individually, taking into account the circumstances of the case. After notifying the party about the rights under Art. 10 of the Code of Administrative Procedure, the waiting time for a party’s statement is usually longer than time indicated in the letter informing about the possibility of giving notice. The Council takes into account applications submitted in this manner also after the deadline indicated in the letter, practically until the decision is issued, usually a minimum of one month from the date of delivery of the letter. The only exception is in the cases of foreigners detained in guarded centers for foreigners, which the Council “treats as a priority” in order not to extend the period of detention. For the date of exercising the rights under Art. 10 of the Code of Administrative Procedure, the date of posting the registered letter at a post office is considered. The longest difference between the date of sending the letter to the Council by post and the date of its decree in the RdU was recently 7 days.

We are concerned that the Council has not introduced any minimum waiting period for responses from (on behalf of) migrants placed in Guarded Centers for Foreigners. We know cases of issuing decisions by this authority the day after the expiry of the 2-day deadline for submitting requests. According to the RdU’s reply, the Council, for at least 7 days, has no information whether the foreigners placed in detention have exercised their right under Art. 10 of the Code of Administrative Procedure and sent a letter to the RdU by post. Nevertheless, this body issues administrative decisions on the grounds of “priority treatment”, “protecting against extending the period of detention”. We do not see any priority treatment of migrants in such practice. Rather, it is evidence of depriving migrants of their rights (see our project “Migrants Have Right to Have Rights!”).

The obtained data will be used to prepare a report on the functioning of the free legal aid system under the project “State – NGOs – Foreigners: Monitoring the implementation of statutory legal aid”.

The project is funded by the Active Citizens – National Fund program, financed by the EEA Grants

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