Shielding Frontex – On the EU General Court’s “WS and others v Frontex”

While a number of complaints have been lodged against Frontex before the EU’s courts in different procedures (e.g., annulment, transparency, failure to act), the action for damages in casu, was the first of its kind concerning human rights responsibility of Frontex and had all the ingredients to prompt the General Court to finally clarify a number of pervasive and urgent questions concerning Frontex responsibility for complicity in unlawful human rights conduct. Instead, by conflating the wrongful conduct under scrutiny, the Court prevents a critical examination of Frontex’s conduct altogether. The significance of the case thus lies in the adopted approach by the Court, which, in effect, contributes to the systematic shielding of Frontex from any responsibility for contributions to human rights harms.

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