Kosmopoulou, ‘(In)credible lesbian and gay asylum seekers’, 2021

Subject Area

Sexual Orientation/Sexuality







Year Published



Olympiada Kosmopoulou, ‘(In)credible lesbian and gay asylum seekers: credibility assessment practices in sexual orientation-based asylum claims in Europe’, Åbo Akademi University, 2021


This thesis examines credibility assessment practices of sexual orientation asylum claims in Europe and their compatibility with human rights standards. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) rejected the credibility assessment practices of medical and psychiatric tests, experts’ reports, sexually explicit documentation, and intrusive questioning as contrary to human rights. The CJEU did not detail which aspects of these practices are problematic and their relapse in recent practice calls for their re-examination. Aiming to articulate which aspects of these credibility assessment practices are breaching human rights, this thesis discusses tests and experts’ reports, documentation and questioning in relation to the right to private life as well as the prohibition of degrading treatment for medical tests and examinations from a European Court of Human Rights standpoint. In doing so, an overview of the CJEU relevant rulings will be made for each of the three areas of credibility assessment practices, followed by an analysis of the relevant right(s)drawing from the precedents of the European Court for Human Rights as well as a discussion on recent developments of each area of credibility assessment.

Key words: asylum, credibility assessment, sexual orientation, Court of justice of the European Union, European Court of Human Rights, membership of a particular social group, right to private life, prohibition of degrading treatment, persecution ground, lesbian, gay, evidence, questioning.