No Right to Liberty: The Detention of Asylum Seekers for Administrative Convenience

in European Journal of Migration and Law
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Abstract

This article critically examines the recent decision of the Grand Chamber of the EctHR in Saadi v UK 2008. The decision endorses short-term detention of asylum seekers on the basis of administrative convenience, specifically ruling out a requirement of necessity. The decision is examined in the light of international law on the detention of asylum seekers and the requirements of proportionality and lack of arbitrariness. It is anticipated that the use of routine detention will increase across Europe and that asylum seekers will be lumped together with other migrants in policies aimed at further restricting access to the European club. This presents a serious threat to the international right to seek and enjoy asylum provided in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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