Book chapter

Publication details

Adressing Irregular Immigration through Criminal Penalties: reflections on the contributions of the ECJ to refining and developing a complex balance
in book: International Courts and the Development of International Law

Publisher: T.M.C Asser Press
Release year: 2013

Author(s) details

Alessia Di Pascale

Bruno Nascimbene

Publication description

Irregular Migration, EU Criminal Law, European Court of Justice
The significant increase in migration in recent decades has raised concerns regarding the management and control of flows, particularly those of irregular migrants. In this context, the debate about the use of criminal sanctions as a tool of repression to limit the phenomenon is assuming increasing importance. The theme fits in with an international context that is changing the approach to the treatment of foreigners in an attempt to find a balance between fundamental rights and the state’s prerogatives. In 2011 the EU Court of Justice ruled repeatedly on these profiles: without questioning the competence of Member States to apply criminal sanctions against irregular migrants, the ECJ nevertheless reminded them of their obligations under EU law and in relation to the protection of fundamental rights, forcing the Italian legislature to amend the regulations in force and more broadly orienting the international debate on a profile of crucial importance.