Case C-411/10 concerns an Afghan national who entered Greece, where he was allegedly detained and eventually expelled to Turkey. He never sought asylum in Greece. He subsequently arrived to the United Kingdom, where he lodged an asylum application. The UK authorities, pursuant to Article 17 of Regulation No. 343/2003 ("Dublin II Regulation"), which establishes the criteria and the mechanism for determining the Member State responsible for examining an asylum application lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national, informed Greece of the applicant's whereabouts and asked Greece to take charge as required by the Regulation. Greece never responded, and the UK authorities, again relying on the Dublin II Regulation, ordered the applicant removed to Greece. He appealed this decision all the way to the Court of Appeal, which referred several questions to the European Court of Justice regarding the application of the Dublin II Regulation.
Case C-493/10 concerns five asylum applicants originally from Afghanistan, Iran, and Algeria. They entered the EU separately through Greece, where each was arrested for illegal entry. After leaving Greece, they travelled to Ireland, where they claimed asylum. While only two disclosed their previous presence in Greece, the Eurodac system - the EU database of fingerprints of asylum applicants and illegal immigrants - confirmed that all five had previously entered Greece, but that none had claimed asylum there. All five resist returning to Greece, arguing that the procedures and conditions for asylum seekers in Greece are inadequate. They claim that Ireland, as required by Article 3(2) the Dublin II Regulation, was responsible for examining and deciding their asylum claims. The applicants did not claim that their transfer to Greece would violate Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights because of a risk of refoulement, ill treatment, or suspension of asylum claims.
Significantly, the Court concluded "to ensure compliance by the European Union and its Member States with their obligations concerning the protection of the fundamental rights of asylum seekers, the Member States, including the national courts, may not transfer an asylum seeker to the 'Member State responsible' within the meaning of Regulation No 343/2003 where they cannot be unaware that systemic deficiencies in the asylum procedure and in the reception conditions of asylum seekers in that Member State amount to substantial grounds for believing that the asylum seeker would face a real risk of being subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 4 of the Charter."