The Council for Alien Law Litigation

The full jurisdiction appeal procedure

An applicant can appeal against the following decisions taken by the CGRS:

  • refusal of recognition of refugee status
  • refusal to grant subsidiary protection status
  • withdrawal of, ending of or exclusion from refugee status and/or subsidiary protection status
  • a refusal to consider the application (safe country of origin)
  • a refusal to consider the application (subsequent applications).

How the appeal works

The applicant can submit an appeal within 30 calendar days after notification of the CGRS' decision. An applicant detained in a closed reception centre has 15 calendar days to appeal. In some specific situations, the appeal time may be shortened to 5 or 10 calendar days.

The applicant and/or his lawyer sets out all the arguments against the decision by the CGRS in a petition to the CALL. The applicant can add new elements and documents to support his appeal.

The procedure takes place in writing, but the applicant and his lawyer will also have the opportunity to defend their position in a formal public hearing. The CGRS is also asked to defend its decision.

If the CALL is of the opinion that the decision by the CGRS is sufficiently clear, the appeal can be handled through a written procedure. If neither the applicant, nor the CGRS asks to be heard, the CALL will not organise a formal hearing and the appeal is examined on the basis of elements the applicant has provided to support his original application.

An appeal in full jurisdiction is always suspensive: the applicant cannot be forcibly repatriated and retains the right to reception during the appeals procedure.

An appeal against a refusal to consider the application (safe country of origin)

After notification of the decision by the CGRS, the applicant (with his lawyer) has 15 calendar days to lodge an appeal with the CALL. The applicant can add new elements and documents to his appeal in order to support his asylum claim.

This procedure also takes place in writing and a formal hearing will be held at the CALL during which both the applicant and the CGRS can defend their interests.

An appeal against a refusal to consider the application (subsequent applications)

The nature of the appeal (suspensive or non-suspensive) and the times within which the applicant can submit an appeal to the CALL depend on a number of factors (is the applicant being held in a ‘fixed’ location, does the applicant risk refoulement,...). The decision of the CGRS indicates whether the appeal is suspensive or non-suspensive and within what period the applicant may submit his petition to appeal.

The ruling with respect to a full jurisdiction appeal

The CALL can

  • confirm the decision: the decision of the CGRS was correct
  • reverse the decision: the CALL does not agree with the decision of the CGRS and decides to grant a protection status (refugee status or subsidiary protection status). The CALL can change a recognition of subsidiary protection status into a recognition of refugee status or into a refusal of subsidiary protection status
  • annul the decision: the CALL sends the asylum file back to the CGRS when the decision is not adequately motivated. When taking a new decision, the CGRS must take into account the comments of the CALL as far as possible.

The annulment procedure

Against a specific decision not to take the application into consideration, the applicant can only submit an annulment appeal and a suspension appeal to the CALL. This concerns the following categories of applicants:

  • EU nationals
  • applicants who have already received refugee status in another EU member state
  • applicants who, without good reason, do not attend the hearing at the CGRS or do not respond to the request for additional information.

The appeal term is 30 calendar days after receipt of the decision.

The applicant cannot submit any new elements in this procedure.

How the annulment appeal works

The appeal is not suspensive (no postponement of execution). The applicant can submit a request ('demand') for suspension with the appeal for annulment. There are two options:

  • The CALL processes the demand for suspension together with the annulment appeal and renders only one ruling.
  • The CALL processes the demand for suspension first. If the CALL approves, the decision by the CGRS is without consequence until the CALL takes a decision regarding the annulment appeal.
The ruling in relation to an annulment appeal

The CALL can

  • confirm the decision: the decision of the CGRS was correct
  • annul the decision: the CALL sends the asylum file back to the CGRS, which has to take a new decision.