Italy: Recognition of the right to enter as compensation for illegitimate collective expulsions to Libya by the Italian Coast Guard in 2009

Thursday, November 28, 2019

On 28 November 2019, the Tribunal of Rome published its judgment concerning the right to compensation for the victims of the collective expulsion by the Italian Coast Guard in 2009 on the basis of the ‘friendship treaty’ with Libya.

On 27 June 2009, the applicants, fourteen Eritrean citizens, left Libya for Italy by boat. Following damage to the ship, the Italian Coast Guard rescued those on board in international waters. Although the applicants’ expressed an intention to apply for asylum in Italy, they were instead transferred to a Libyan Coast Guard vessel by the authorities.

The Tribunal, recalling the findings in the case Hirsi Jamaa v. Italy, reiterated the illegitimacy of the collective expulsions and, consequently, recognised the applicants’ right to specific damages for the violation of their right of asylum in Italy.

The Tribunal highlighted that the practical impossibility to apply for asylum in Italy was the direct consequence of an unlawful act committed by the Italian authorities. In order to guarantee the complete application of the right of asylum established by the Italian Constitution at Article 10, par. 3, the Tribunal ordered the Government to allow the applicants’ entry to Italy, leaving the choice of the most suitable procedure to the national authorities’ discretion.

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.



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