Conditions and Criteria for Determining Asylum

  • Alessandra Ricci Ascoli


This contribution concentrates on the conditions and criteria for determining an asylum application. Following aspects are discussed, in particular: Access to procedures, independent decision-making authority, fully qualified decision-maker, thorough and individual examination of an asylum application, access to legal counsel, access to information in applicant’s own language, right of confidentiality, reasonable time to prepare a case, benefit of doubt, reasoned decision, equality in access to evidence, right to an effective appeal. The contribution uses as its frame of reference the UNHCR Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status and the Amnesty International safeguards on determining refugee status and contrasts these with experiences from Greece and Italy.


Asylum Seeker Refugee Status Legal Counsel International Protection Greek Island 
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  1. Amnesty International (2009) Stranded: refugee in Turkey denied protection. Accessed 25 May 2010
  2. Consorzio Italiano di Solidarietà (2005) Primo Rapporto sul diritto d’asilo in Italia. Rifugiati in Italia: La protezione negata. Accessed 25 May 2010
  3. Human Rights Watch (2008) Stuck in a revolving door, Greece/Turkey. Iraqis and other asylum seekers and migrants at the Greece/Turkey entrance to the European Union. Accessed 25 May 2010
  4. Jones M (2009) Refugee status determination: three challenges. 32 Forced Migration Review pp 53–54Google Scholar
  5. Pro-Asyl and Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants (2007) The truth may be bitter, but must be told, the situation of Refugees in the Aegean and the practice of the Greek Coast guard. Accessed 25 May 2010
  6. UN High Commissioner for Refugees (1992) Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. Accessed 25 May 2010

Copyright information

© T.M.C. ASSER PRESS, The Hague, The Netherlands, and the authors 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandra Ricci Ascoli
    • 1
  1. 1.Amnesty InternationalThe HagueThe Netherlands

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