[JURIST] The European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website] ruled [judgment] Tuesday that refugees seeking asylum on the basis of homosexuality can not be subjected to tests or interrogations in order to prove their sexual orientation. The court nullified the previous practice of verification based on homosexual stereotypes and detailed questioning as to sexual practices, declaring this contrary to fundamental rights. Instead, interviews are to be conducted in a manner that takes account of the individual situation and personal circumstances of each applicant. The ruling also specifies that “tests” where applicants are required to present evidence of their homosexuality through media or immediate acts are not to be allowed as even non-compulsory submissions of such materials would lead eventually to requiring such materials, and to do so would be to infringe on human dignity. Furthermore, the court also decreed that failure to identify oneself as homosexual in the initial process of application can no longer be used as a bar from acceptance for lack of credibility, as the sensitive nature of homosexual persecution could understandably inspire reticence in applicants.
The ECJ’s caseload is both prolific and diverse. The precursor to this decision occurred last November, when the ECJ ruled [JURIST report] that persecution because of sexual orientation constitutes grounds for asylum in the EU. This past July they ruled for more transparency [JURIST report] in trade between the EU and the US. And in June, they ruled that foreign pregnant [JURIST report] women cannot be denied income support if they cease to work for a reasonable time.