Expelling EU citizen war criminals: no sympathy from the ECJ
Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex
If an EU citizen (or his or her family member) has been excluded from being a refugee, in what circumstances can he or she be expelled from a Member State? The ECJ clarified this issue in its K and HF judgment last week: its first ruling that touches on the relationship between EU (and international) refugee law and EU free movement law.
There’s a good reason why these two areas of law haven’t interacted previously in the Court’s case law: EU law itself tries to keep them apart. A Protocol attached to the EU Treaties, aiming to facilitate the extradition of alleged terrorists between Member States, says that in principle EU citizens cannot apply for asylum in another Member State, due to the presumption in that Protocol that each Member State ensures sufficient human rights protection.