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1: Introduction

Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law

Edited by:
Alan Desmond
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Professional
Publication Date:
February 2024

The new Swiss asylum procedure entered into force on 1 March 2019. 1. The Swiss authorities drew upon the Dutch model in order to create a procedure as effective and fast as possible, claiming that the new, fast-paced rhythms would not affect its fairness. 2. The reform passed with broad political consensus, 3 as well as with the support of the main players in the Swiss asylum field. While in principle, the shortening of the previously often very lengthy procedures and the strengthening of legal protection for asylum seekers was welcomed by NGOs, they had voiced reservations from the beginning, warning against too ambitious an acceleration and emphasising that good quality procedures and legal representation with due diligence must always be ensured. 4 More than one and a half years since the start of the new procedure, it is possible to take stock of early outcomes, as well as of the challenges and questions raised by this experience, which remains quite new in the Schengen Area. This reflection is made all the more pertinent and urgent by the fact that other countries are turning their eyes to the Swiss model, which may thus become a play book for further reforms elsewhere in Europe. 5

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