The CJEU’s Ruling in Celaj: Criminal penalties, entry bans and the Returns Directive

  • Authored by:

    Izabella Majcher

  • Type of publication:

    Staff Publications

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In its ruling in the Skerdjan Celaj case (C-290/14), rendered on 1st October 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) addressed once again the relation between immigration and criminal law and in particular the compatibility of national penal measures imposed as a punishment for irregular migration with the EU Returns Directive. In the previous cases touching upon this issue, the Court assessed whether the Directive allowed states to penalize non-compliance with a return order or irregular stay itself with imprisonment (El Dridi and Achughbabian, respectively) and with home detention (Sagor) as a criminal law penalty (as distinct from administrative law detention, which is expressly regulated by the Directive). In turn, in Celaj the Luxembourg judges were requested to consider whether a criminal law sentence of imprisonment imposed for a breach of a re-entry ban was compatible with the Returns Directive. (Read entire entry.)