“It was legitimate to assign other ports to Geo Barents”: according to TAR, shipwrecked people are not all the same

The Historical Set.

The Administrative Court of Lazio dismissed the ship’s appeal GeoBarents against the assignment, which the volunteers find annoying Doctors Without Bordersthe ports of Ancona and La Spezia for the disembarkation of the shipwrecked. These orders forced the ship, which was recovering from two different rescue operations, to additional sailing days, although the international standard (point 3.1.9 of the appendix to Hamburg Convention Sar of 1979) required “to take the necessary precautions to ensure that the landing in question can be carried out in the shortest reasonably possible time”.

Reasonableness can only be measured based on the technical and nautical aspects and, in the case of rescue, also based on the circumstances in which the shipwrecked find themselves: not just based on what was promised dangerous situations (survivors in severe cases, pregnant women, children), but also al physical and mental ailments In people who have already been heavily tested, it is certainly prone to complications while traveling by ship.

On the other hand, one cannot invoke the requirements, albeit inevitable, of fair reception and public order, conditions that the Ministry of the Interior can definitely prepare and that should be fulfilled in a structural way like the Coast Guard from 2011 in southern ports, preparations made new relief structures in the places most exposed to the need for interventions.

The Convention therefore requires the competent state to order expeditious disembarkation, and the Court of Cassation consistently stated this in its Opinion on the Rackete case (Decision 6626/2020). The rescue cannot end with the salvage of the shipwrecked on boardbecause staying on the ship “does not allow respect for the fundamental rights of the rescued people”.

Arguments that the Tar ruling remembered but disregarded, taking the address of a technical table held at the Home Office in 2015: an administrative phase very marginal compared to the unanimously opposed directions in the rule and case law. On the occasion of this meeting, the officials of the administrations involved reduced the support of migrants to a subordinate type of intervention in the migration phenomenon, thereby de facto confirming the priority of police activities (low enforcement) on those of rescue.

Even then, the civilian rescue units, which previously cooperated with and were under the coordination of the institutional units, were singled out by the government as eccentric elements of the system, if not outright hostile.

The measures taken against them over time are eloquent: the thorough controls and arrests of vessels which the European Court of Justice (cases C-14/21 and C-15/21) considered unjustified at the time; the alignment of the shipwreck condition with that of the passenger with the consequent imposition of the obligatory preparations for merchant ships; treating any further assistance as an arbitrary (and unreasonable) extension of the expedition.

Finally exactly the assignment of distant ports, additional shipping days are required for the route, even in adverse sea conditions.

A historic ruling, the government said, e.g it probably will be. Indeed, for the first time, it is established that shipwrecked people are not all equal, as required by the Constitution, and that migrants are treated differently than is reserved for everyone else.

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