The evidentiary value of forensic medical reports in asylum procedures is highly contested, mainly for two reasons. First, a physician usually cannot establish when, where, why and by whom the applicant has been ill-treated. Moreover, a physician can almost never establish with complete certainty which treatment caused a scar or physical or psychological problem. Nevertheless, both the ECtHR and the Committee against Torture (CAT) have recognised the importance of forensic medical reports as evidence in asylum cases in their judgments and decisions. However, they rarely explicitly address fundamental questions relating to the duty to arrange for a medical examination and the evidentiary value of forensic medical reports. This article examines where the Court of Justice of the European Union may step in to provide more guidance regarding these issues to the Member States of the European Union, by interpreting Article 18 of the recast Procedures Directive.
- asylum procedures
- forensic medical examinations
- forensic medical reports