Violence inflicted by public officials is an inhuman and degrading treatment – judgement of the Supreme Administrative Court

The Supreme Administrative Court revoked the ruling of the Voivodship Administrative Court in Warsaw and decisions of administrative authorities in the case concerning the asylum procedure of one of our clients (ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court from 6 March 2019, II OSK 2572/18).

The Supreme Administrative Court stated that severe beating by public officials could be treated as inhuman and degrading treatment. It is important since the Association for Legal Intervention observed an alarming practice of administrative authorities to wrongfully imply that such a violence is a criminal act and a police misconduct and not a reason to grant international protection.

In the justification of the ruling the Supreme Administrative Court highlighted that if the administrative authorities established that the foreigner was a victim of physical or psychological violence in his home country, they should also establish that in case of return he or she could face a real risk of suffering serious harm. This assumption can be rebutted if the authorities prove that there are justified reasons to assume that the acts of inflicting serious harm will not repeat. Those facts have to be established in administrative and not judicial proceedings. Administrative court cannot replace the administrative authorities nor establish those facts by themselves.

The foreigner was represented before the Supreme Administrative Court by the attorney-at-law Małgorzata Jaźwińska.