ZV, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 2725 (Admin)

The asylum claim by a victim of trafficking from Lithuania was declared inadmissible by the Secretary of State on the basis that Lithuania is considered safe as an EEA member state. The Spanish Protocol preserves a broad discretion for member states to decline to apply the presumption that claims from EEA nationals are not admissible. It was held that asylum claims by members of national states are only to be declared admissible in the very unusual circumstances identified in the Spanish Protocol and the asylum claim in the present case does not come close to falling into such a category of exceptionality. The home country is a member of the EU and a party to the Anti-Trafficking Convention and Directive. Lithuania is also a member of the Council of Europe and a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights. There was no evidence to suggest that Lithuania does not provide an adequate system of criminal law enforcement in respect of trafficking or does not operate that system properly. The Secretary of State was entitled to declare the asylum claim inadmissible.

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