Italy: Humanitarian protection still relevant for those who applied for asylum before “Salvini Decree” entered into force

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

On 13 November 2019, the Supreme Court of Cassation (the Court) ruled against the retroactive application of humanitarian protection of Italian law d.l. 113/2018, also-known as the ‘Salvini Decree’.

The Court was called upon to establish an unequivocal interpretation of the legal framework applicable to those who had already applied for asylum but still waiting for a final decision to be made prior to the introduction of the reform on 5 October 2018.

The Court held the purpose of principle of non-retroactivity is to avoid any modification of the legal framework concerning facts that already existed and that were legally relevant before the reform entered into force.  In this sense, the Court affirmed that a positive decision on protection, both international and humanitarian, affects the recognition and not the constitution of fundamental rights already existing when the asylum application was submitted. The Court concluded that national authorities must examine the referring cases in light of humanitarian protection and, in the case of positive decisions, issue applicants with the so-called “special cases” resident permit, lasting 2 years and convertible into work resident permit.

Thank you to Francesca Zalambani, Legal Assistant at ECRE, for assisting us with the summary. Based on an unofficial translation by the EWLU team.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is pusexblished but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.


Humanitarian considerations