Seeking the Golden Fleece through Lampedusa: Situating Municipal Action in International Law
The crises of illegal migration by sea, currently plaguing the coastal States around the Mediterranean Sea, have created a situation of tightening border controls. Italy, as a choice destination State for many migrants, has continued to employ measures to ensure that the number of vessels carrying irregular migrants arriving onshore is reduced to the barest minimum. Push-back measures, which are conducted based on bilateral agreements with Libya, are one such method of seaward border management. This article questions the legality of the Italian push-back measures, as a representation of State interest, when placed next to international law. The paper argues that, since such measures of externalisation of border security may conflict with principles of international law, destination States should consciously adopt measures that are sensitive to migrant rights.
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