C v Minister of the Interior

Date08 février 1973
CourtRefugee Appeal Tribunal (France)
France, Appeals Commission for Refugees.
Minister of the Interior

The individual in international law Aliens Position of Treatment by and responsibilities of the receiving State Refugees Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951 Restriction on refugee's area of residence in receiving State Application for review to French Appeals Commission for Refugees Whether recourse to Commission with regard to such restriction open to refugees who have regularized their status Failure to apply within time limit Effect Article 26 of Convention Right to choose place of residence Subject to any regulations applicable to aliens generally Interpretation The law of France

Summary: The facts:The applicant, a refugee lawfully in France, was made the subject of an order restraining him from residing in the Paris area. He referred the order to the Appeals Commission for Refugees for an Advisory Opinion, contending that the order contravened Article 26 of the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees, whereby Contracting States agreed to accord to refugees lawfully in their territory the right to choose

their place of residence, subject to any regulations applicable to aliens generally in the same circumstances. The Minister challenged the admissibility of the application

Held:The application was admissible and the restriction should be revoked.

(1) It was the Commission's duty to consider applications made to it by refugees subject to any of the measures specified in Articles 31, 32 and 33 of the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees and particularly restrictions upon their freedom of movement envisaged by Article 31(2) of the Convention. Although this latter provision was expressed to apply to refugees who had not yet regularized their status, it would be a misconstruction of the intention of the authors of the Convention and the French parliament to deny the right to apply to the Commission to refugees whose position had been regularized.

(2) It was not open to the Minister to rely upon the applicant's failure to refer the matter to the Commission within the one-week period specified by Article 5 of the Law of 25 July 1952 since the Minister had failed to notify the refugee of either his right of appeal or the exceptionally short time limit.

(3) The right of refugees whose position had been regularized, under Article 26 of the Convention, to choose their place of residence was expressed to be subject to any regulations applicable to aliens...

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