The repatriation case of 55 unaccompanied Moroccan minors who entered Ceuta during the May 2021 migration crisis remains partially unresolved. The Administrative Litigation Chamber of the Spanish Supreme Court, located in Madrid, has recently accepted an appeal from the public prosecutor’s office against the first and second-instance judgments that condemned the Spanish administration for the return of these minors to Morocco, as reported by the local news website El Faro de Ceuta.
The Supreme Court, which had already agreed to review the verdict of the Administrative Litigation Court of Ceuta last April, is currently examining the decision of the Higher Court of Justice of Andalusia (TSJA), which ratified the judgment. The TSJA had highlighted that the actions of the Government Delegation in Ceuta and city officials “did not comply with the minimum procedural guarantees required” and “exposed the minors to an objective risk to their physical and moral integrity during the return measures.”
This process carried out by the Spanish Supreme Court runs concurrently with the criminal procedure in which Mabel Deu, the former First Vice-President of the local government of Ceuta, and Salvadora Mateos, the former Government Delegate of the city, face charges of “malfeasance.” According to the same source, the prosecution has requested a 12-year prohibition on holding public office for both defendants.
The Supreme Court acknowledges “an objective appellate interest for the formation of jurisprudence” to determine whether the repatriation measures outlined in the agreement between Spain and Morocco require the initiation of an administrative procedure by immigration law.
The crux of the issue, as stated by the same source, lies in the interpretation of Article 5 of the Agreement between the two countries, dating back to 2007, “without prejudice to the potential extension of the penalty to other legal matters and standards.”