Italian Courts Engulfed in Thousands of Asylum Appeal Cases

Italian policemen disperse around 200 migrants who were staging a sit-in at the border between Italy and France in the city of Ventimiglia, Italy, on June 13, 2015. The Italian police, wearing riot gear, tried to push the migrants back towards the town of Ventimiglia, five kilometres (three miles) from …

Italian courts are currently overwhelmed with thousands of asylum seeker cases, as migrants appeal their asylum rejections.

There are at least 140,000 asylum applications submitted by migrants that still have no final response. While the Territorial Commissions initially dismiss many of them, the number of appeals has engulfed the Italian court system.

According to a report from Italian newspaper Il Giornale, there are over 33,800 asylum applications that still await an initial decision from the Territorial Commissions. The courts in northern areas of the country are the most affected by the number of asylum case appeals.

In the city of Trieste, close to the border with Slovenia, pending immigration cases account for 50 per cent of the total number of civilian pending cases. In Milan, courthouses are said to be full of immigration appeals, causing an 843 per cent increase in backlogs.

The President of the Court of Bologna, Francesco Caruso, has stated that other areas of law, such as family, business, and contract law, cannot be allowed to go without staff in order to process the high number of asylum cases.

In 2020, Italy continued to see a flow of migrants despite travel restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. More recently, migrant taxi NGOs have once again started operations off the coast of Libya.

In April of last year, at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, a doctor working for the German migrant taxi NGO Sea-Eye claimed that picking up migrants in the Mediterranean mattered more than concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

“Facing people who run away from torture, coronavirus takes second place. I think we all accepted the risk,” doctor Caterina Ciufegni said.

In November, Sea-Eye announced that it would be launching a larger ship than their current vessel the Alan Kurdi and that it would begin operations this year.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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