23 February 2012

Hirsi v. Italy


Today, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued its decision in the case of Hirsi Jamaa and Others v. Italy. The case concerned Somalis and Eritreans who were intercepted at sea by Italian authorities, and then summarily returned to Libya. The Court found, in part, that Italy's actions had violated the non-refoulement principle. Here is the text of the case.

For reactions to and commentary on the case, see:

  • Boat Migrants Grand Chamber Judgment (ECHR Blog, Feb. 2012) [text]
  • Case Watch: European Ruling Affirms the Rights of Migrants at Sea (Open Society Blog, Feb. 2012) [text]
  • ECtHR Grand Chamber: Italy's Maritime Push-Back Practice Amounts to Collective Expulsion and Exposes Migrants to Risks of Torture and Ill-Treatment (Migrants at Sea) [text]
  • Italy: ‘Historic’ European Court Judgment Upholds Migrants’ Rights (Amnesty International) [text]
  • Italy’s Migrant Interception Faces European Court Scrutiny (Open Society Blog) [text]
  • Landmark Judgment of the Strasbourg Court on Push-backs in the Mediterranean Sea (UNHCR) [text]
  • Push-backs to Libya (ECRE) [text]
  • Yet Another Mala Figura: Italy Breached Non-refoulement Obligations by Intercepting Migrants’ Boats at Sea, says ECtHR (EJIL: Talk!) [text]

To learn more about the implications of the decision, attend the upcoming presentation at the Refugee Studies Centre by Madeline Garlick, who represented UNHCR before the court in the case. [Note: The seminar is now available as a podcast.]

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