The previous report update was published in December 2015.
Appeal: The Decree-Law 13/2017 published on 17 February 2017 has abolished the possibility to appeal the Civil Tribunal decisions on international protection before the Court of Appeal. If the provision is to be transposed into law by Parliament, it will be possible to appeal those decisions issued 180 days from the entry into force of the Decree-Law onwards only before the Court of Cassation within 30 days, no longer within 60. The Decree-Law also foresees limited possibilities for an oreal hearing, and states that the request for suspensive effect has to be decided by the judge who rejected the appeal. The reform has sparked strong reactions from NGOs, and even from some magistrates.
Dublin: During 2016, the administrative courts expressed with several decisions the position that Dublin procedure should be understood as a phase of the asylum procedure and, consequently, should fall within the competence of civil courts. The first significant decision was taken on 18 December 2015 by the Council of State, and subsequently by the Administrative Court of Lazio, including with a decision of 7 February 2017, On the other hand, on 3 February 2017, the Civil Court of Trieste pronounced the lack of jurisdiction of the ordinary judge and referred to the administrative courts. Therefore, at the moment, asylum seekers notified of a Dublin decision lack an actual remedy against the transfer.
Accommodation: As of the end of December 2016, temporary reception centres (CAS) hosted over 75% of the population with approximately 137,218 persons, while SPRAR hosted 23,822 and first reception centres 14,694. Conditions in many of these facilities present serious concerns and are not suitable for residence of asylum seekers.
Detention of asylum seekers
Detention capacity: At the end of December 2016, the Ministry of Interior issued a Circular (“Circular Gabrielli”) announcing the reopening of the closed identification and expulsion centres (CIE), as part of a broader plan aimed at repatriation of irregular foreign nationals, also pursued by concluding new bilateral readmission agreements and reforming the rules on asylum.
Nationality-based treatment: On 26 January 2017, the Ministry of Interior sent to the Questure in Rome, Torino, Brindisi and Caltanissetta a telegram requesting them to make available 90 places, 50 for men and 45 for women, inside the currently operating CIE. These places are to be used to identify self-styled Nigerian nationals illegally present in the country for their immediate repatriation. The Ministry of Interior has also encouraged the Questure to carry out targeted operations aimed at tracing Nigerian citizens in an irregular situation on the territory.
Content of international protection
Stay in reception centres: Beneficiaries notified of a protection status in CAS are strongly discriminated against compared to those who obtain or who have already obtained a place in SPRAR. Depending on the discretionary decisions of the responsible Prefectures and on bureaucratic delays, they could be allowed to stay in the reception centre a few months (Trieste), a few days (Milan), or even just one day (Padova, Ancona) after the notification.