In the CJEU we trust? The Court of Justice as an “asylum court”

The creation of a European asylum policy carried the potential for the CJEU to shape EU asylum, and international refugee law, and to enforce refugees’ rights. Strict procedural rules on direct access circumscribe this potential. The CJEU comes into the picture indirectly, influencing member state practice through its authoritative interpretation of the EU asylum acquis. Its asylum case-law arguably has global reach as international refugee law lacks an international judicial instance, and a global level monitoring mechanism delivering opinions in individual cases. Against this backdrop, I focus on three strands of CJEU’s asylum case-law: qualification for international protection; responsibility-allocation for examining asylum claims; and asylum procedures. I critically assess the CJEU’s contribution to international refugee law; the ways it has shaped national procedural autonomy; and its establishment of duties flowing from and limitations of the principle of mutual trust.