Tomáš Svoboda
Author’s affiliation: Faculty of Law, Charles University in Prague

Medical non-refoulement in the case-law of the European Court of Human rights

Jurisprudence 4/2022 Section: Articles Page: 8-18

Keywords: non-refoulement, international protection, ECrHR case law, serious harm, subsidiary protection

Abstract: This paper discusses the case law of the European Court of Human Rights on the non-refoulement principle. The aim of this paper is firstly to establish whether medical reasons can trigger the non-refoulement principle and secondly, to investigate the impacts on the case law of Czech supreme courts. The article begins with an analysis of the key judgments of the ECrHR regarding seriously ill foreigners under threat of expulsion. The most recent ECrHR judgment issued in December 2021 is also a part of the analysis. It follows with an analysis of the case law of the Czech supreme courts, and the impacts of the ECrHR case law are assessed. Based on the evidence drawn from the analyses, it was found that seriously ill foreigners cannot be, under several conditions regarding their medical condition and the health care system in the country of origin, expelled. However, the case law of the Czech supreme courts proves that the high threshold for the activation of the medical non-refoulement is still present.