Master’s Closing Event / Migration Law Clinic Opinion and Presentation

At the end of June, we had a wonderful Master’s closing event. It was a wonderful opportunity for our students to share and reflect on their experiences over the past year. This event marked the end of our Master’s programme for this academic year.

During the lunch, we had the change of attending a presentation by the students of the Migration Law Clinic. They presented their expert opinion on the topic: “Extending the time limit of examination procedures under Article 31(3)(b) of the Asylum Procedures Directive.”

Their opinion dealt with a number of crucial questions referred for a preliminary ruling by the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State:

  • The interpretation of simultaneous applications for international protection and whether Article 31(3)(b) allows the decision period to be extended from six to fifteen months in cases where the increase in applications occurs gradually over time.
  • The criteria for assessing what constitutes a “large number” of applications for international protection, focusing on the absolute number of applications and the unforeseen burden they place on the decision-making body.
  • The need for a defined time limit for the period during which an increase in applications must occur in order to fall within the scope of Article 31(3)(b), in order to ensure legal certainty for applicants while preserving the objectives of the Directive.
  • Whether factors unrelated to the increase in the number of applications can be taken into account when determining whether the procedure can be completed within six months.

The Opinion concluded that an extension of the decision period is not justified if the increase in applications is gradual and emphasised the importance of a clear timeframe in order to maintain legal certainty. In addition, only factors directly related to the increase in asylum applications should be taken into account when assessing the feasibility of completing the procedure within the set timeframe.

You can read and download the full opinion, here.