Asylum: Asylum seekers have their right to adequate legal protection

The appeal administrative council of Court of BIH has adopted the request for reconsideration of the court decision submitted by Association “ Vasa prava BiH” and has revoked the judgment of the State Court No S1 3 U 001818 10 U taking a clear stance regarding questions of asylum seeker and their right to adequate legal protection.

Namely year long practice has been that in Administrative proceedings all written correspondence is delivered in the official languages of BiH directly to asylum seekers, even then when the asylum seekers have their attorneys, which resulted that asylum seekers due to their illiteracy missed the deadlines for using legal remedies.

After years of endeavour that in accordance with Law on Administrative procedure respects the right of asylum seekers on the use of native language, but in cases when asylum seekers have attorneys, that the right on attorney should be respected and that the deadline for using legal remedies starts from the day of the delivery decision to the attorney but not directly to asylum seeker. The appeal administrative council has taken a clear stance adopting the Vasa prava request for the reconsideration of the court decision and in the reasoning of judgment No S1 3 U 001818 10 UVL Court stated:

“In this case respondent authority has violated not only the procedural rules of delivering written submissions to the party but also the stated principle of the party’s right to use their language and alphabet. Delivering disputed decision to the plaintiff, in a language and script that she does not  understand, instead of her attorney, the respondent authority has violated principle of aid  to illiterate party ( Article 12 of  LAP), as well as right to attorney

(Article 49 of LAP) which was all to the detriment of the rights that belonged to plaintiff or the right to adequate legal protection.”

This is on more step forward, regarding the rights of asylum seekers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also this judgment is “a reward to the Association Vasa prava” for year long efforts to enable the asylum seekers access to adequate legal aid.