The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights has intervened in a Strasbourg case on Greek refugee protection – or rather lack of it:
The Commissioner concluded that current asylum law and practice in Greece are not in compliance with international and European human rights standards, expressing at the same time his full support to the Greek government’s decision and ongoing efforts to overhaul the refugee protection system and overcome its current serious deficiencies.
This third party intervention is the first one of this kind made by the Commissioner under Article 36, paragraph 2, of the European Convention on Human Rights. In another case in 2007, the Commissioner replied to questions put forward by the Court relating to the situation of an applicant.
It is an interesting development and may have ramifications for the third country cases currently pending on removal under the Dublin II regulation. News is that the most recent test case on removals to Greece was heard in late February but judgment is awaited and may not be available until after Easter. Whether the Court of Appeal would be willing to consider this intervention now that submissions are over is far from clear, so it may lead to yet further challenges if the current one fails.